During announcements, I flipped open my bible. My eye fell to Mark 10:27 “With men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Which particularly reverberates with recent personal circumstances. It was kind of like “Ahhh… thank you Jesus.”
And then I heard your guest speaking about running the race, making metaphors about the “Very Great” cloud of witnesses… Which also strongly resonated with me. Those personal circumstances I mentioned? Many are watching. I flipped with you back to Heb. 12:1 (loosing my place in Mark.) As you commented it seemed that the Lord was speaking through you to me. It’s as if this experience was echoed in that “Flipture.” Namely “Amazed and Afraid.”
“Now they were on the road, going up to …
(Jerusalem, but this metaphor implies ones ‘ultimate destination’)
… and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid.”Mark 10:32
I’m a believer who bears the pattern in life of the Prodigal Son. Born into “The Faith” it’s a little odd to find myself back in these doors. A worldly wanderer for 25 years, life was a desert. But! He never once left me. I could always sense Him, even at my worst moments.
So, under pressure of those “personal circumstances” having unconditionally returned to Him 20 years ago, I’ve learned to go where I’m called. This Sunday morning, prior to arriving to worship our battle was particularly pitched. Driving to services, there was time to pray, get centered and surrender – but with such an undertow of hopelessness.
Wondering on behalf of that cloud of witnesses: “Where Lord, is Your glory as this goes on? Why Lord, does this battle persist? Out of mercy why won’t You end this?!In the Battle
As the guest speaker continued discussing “running the race”, I wanted to re-read that “flipture.” I paged around landing on the parallel passages in Matthew 19. The particular bible in my hand that morning has no section headings or cross-references, so I was surprised to find the account so easily. Again my bible closed. And again, I had the notion that I needed to listen – “God is speaking.”
For a time you went on about running up and down hills, I re-read Hebrews 12 and then needed to see about God’s power again… but had lost my place a third time. This time – again after little effort (which is weird for me because I’m not known for an academically passable scripture memory), surprise! I was in Luke 18.27. Jesus says “The things that are impossible with men are possible with God.”
I say that surviving our personal circumstance is “our” problem because this is an understanding from God, it came by prayer. I don’t know if God will take a loved-one’s life. Or let them continue to struggle. Sparing you the history and disturbing war stories – I’ve already written too much.
What I do know is: That all that remains is earnest prayer. Shouldn’t it be for a miracle?
As “the rest of the story” unfolds no matter the outcome, it’s how we run the race. God decides the finish. The race is not against the things of this earth – those troubles, but against powers of another realm – who would use tribulation to destroy faith. Ours is an appointed, divine path. As is everyones path. I’m not competing for a certain result (except that by faith, I finish.) Nor do I compete against the results others would want to see or have experienced and themselves celebrate. I don’t want to be found complaining, no matter how slow it goes. I don’t want to go faster or further – “like others have.” I want to humbly follow God’s Glory “at a distance.”
“When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it.”Joshua 3:2-4
On the “way” I desire to be found peaceful, introspective and always a faithful intercessor. I need to surrender my understanding to the will and mind of God. I know that were it not for the arc of Gods hand, his work in the clay of my life – I wouldn’t know what I do of His character. Seeing Jesus face is worth every bit of pain, self-inflicted disappointment and distress. He opens the doors, He holds my hand, He walks with me.
God can spend power and use the one-time glory of a miraculous cure to shine his light in our lives. “All things are possible with God.” It would sort of be like a nice tight little movie, a good story – that airs just once.
Or!! God can spend power, and keep spending his power to use us in an on-going testimony to his grace and mercy, use us to shine his light into the lives of others who face trouble. Like a series of programs that are aired season in and season-out for years and years, episode upon episode. Witnessed by a great cloud of watchers, many following the story as it unfolds. “All things are possible with God.”
Which best suits His purpose? You tell me!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.Romans 8:18-23
About being on the path that God has appointed to us? These are the promises God makes to Joshua – and by inference He so also makes to us! (Joshua 1:3-6)
- Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you,
- No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life
- so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
- Be strong and of good courage,