Even the Wind and Sea

And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Mark 4:41 ESV

Have you ever noticed that even when we think we’re headed in the right direction life is rarely routine for long? Here in this little story the disciples were doing exactly what Jesus had told them to do and yet everything went wrong. Worse yet, Jesus seemed unaware of or unconcerned about their life shaking problem. But the interesting thing is that when the Lord did get up and take care of the storm that they were not at peace. In fact God’s very method of saving them made them fearful of what they had just experienced. Does the Lord allow circumstances that shake our world to just force us to run to Him, or is He aiming for something more? Maybe He has been stirring up our comfortable routine to get us to ask life changing questions that only He can answer. After all life is not so much having the right answers neatly tied in a bow as in seeking Jesus for the answers and finding them in Him! Have a wonderful Sunday and may God speak a peace into your heart just as He did so long ago. Take a moment alone and ask Him to answer your deepest questions. Maybe this quiet praise from Emu music will help you rest in Him.

An Answer in the Morning

And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?  Mark 4:13 ESV

When I as a teenager we used to sing the Andre Crouch song, “Jesus is the Answer” with great abandon and joy. We were super confident that life was now simple and our challenges under control because we had met Jesus and He was our Savior. But now that fifty years have passed, I am discovering that the same Jesus who was the answer for my salvation has also been the Jesus who asks me some very uncomfortable questions, like today’s verse. “How will you understand?”

After five decades my answer is, “I have no idea Lord!” I am often baffled like Philip was when he asked Jesus, “We don’t know where you are going, How can we know the way?” Jesus rarely gives us an easy answer. He doesn’t outline three steps to healing, five keys to church growth or six choices leading to prosperity. Instead He comes each day and asks, “Which one was a neighbor? Will you also go away? Who do you say that I am? or Why are you weeping?”

Why does Jesus do that? My best guess is that when I know the answer, I will not be here any longer to tell you! But one morning when the mist is wiped clear from Heaven’s windows we are promised that will see our Jesus who asks every question and is Himself the answer; our Lord and our most intimate friend. That morning we will know as we are known and there we will see Him face to face!

For my younger readers who likely have no clue as to who Andre Crouch is I am posting a link to a live performance. I was blessed to have the chance to see He along with his sister Sandra and the band in Phoenix in 1972. This YouTube video doesn’t really convey the tremendous energy faith hope (and volume!) that ruled during those live concerts. Have a blessed day all.

Questions From a Writer’s Journal

I find as I grow older that I still don’t know the answers to the questions that I had when I was younger but am more at peace with not knowing. But I am discovering along the way that the Holy Spirit is helping me to begin asking some of the right questions.

I thought it might be helpful for others who also for one reason or another enjoy putting words together. If you are a Christian writer then we share a struggle with questions that are unique to that calling. Why am I writing? What are my motivations and goals? Money? Notoriety? Guilt? Loneliness? If we had x-ray vision and could see into hearts we might find out that some books we enjoyed reading have been born from motivations we never imagined. This morning I was touched when I came across this passage from the Apostle Paul as he invites us to look over his shoulder and peer into his writer’s heart.

Take a moment and let his words sink in and then ask yourself as I did today; “Are my words really born out of my own tears and personal experience? Do I really care about my readers or am I simply vying for their attention? Do I have a heart of love for my readers and are my goals for their good or is it all about me?”

Those are hard questions but I am convinced that finding the answers is more than worth the time and effort. What about you? What kinds of questions are you struggling with today? May you truly have a blessed week as you seek the Lord and write as He gives you stories to tell and words to say.