The passage Matthew 8 is so timely to me this week…my 11-year-old son, Sam and I have
been having conversations about God and His existence. Sam has had some is appointments lately that have caused some doubt to creep into his mind about God. This was serious to him and he did not want me to be upset. But he did want me to know.
I myself do not question God’s existence nor even His presence but privately have questioned what His will is in a particular area of my life. In trying to discuss with my
son the doubts he is having I am finding some things too difficult to explain. I mean some of what I know is only through experience. He says to me when the discussion is over his head, “my head is full!” That is my cue to back up. I have tried to teach my children that God is not a magician. But trying to teach them who and what He is, sometimes makes my head “full!”
In going to God’s Word I find something that I can show Sam. I find a recounting of grown men who doubted the Lord, who were afraid when a storm came upon them even with Christ in their midst. Not to mention the fact that they had just witnessed miracle after miracle following a mountain sermon.
Can you imagine those first days after hearing Jesus speak for the first time? The moment one became mesmerized by his wisdom and his air of authority. Both of which would have been hard to miss by those who could sense they were in the presence of
something Holy. I would have like to be a person in the “multitude” coming down off the mountain after his sermon, following him, wanting to know more. Wanting to see more and hear more. That is how a good message from God’s Word moves me. It makes me hungry to know Him more.
Those following Jesus that day got to see more…they saw miracles. The healing of the leper, the healing of the Centurion’s servant, healing of Peter’s mother-in-law and the two men possessed of devils. Can you even fathom what was going through the minds of those witnessing the two men being set free and becoming normal, while witnessing the swine throwing themselves off a cliff?
In my discussion I had with Sam I spent several minutes recounting all the things God had done for our family throughout his 11 years. As I was listing them I felt my heart begin to understand something that really had not occurred to me. The disappointment I have often felt in not getting what my heart desired or what my mind believed it should get was merely a sign of un-surrender(if that is a word?) I don’t necessarily believe it to be rebellion as much as I think it to be ignorant of what can be accomplished through spiritual death of “dying to self.” Just allowing God to do His will with no “but”!
What if I never doubted?
What if I never questioned? Has there ever been a person who never did?
Did it occur to anyone that Jesus questioned His father? “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
I for one have asked that question in grief and even with the gut-wrenching effort it took for me to utter those words, would not even compare to the depth of Christ’s grief on the cross. What is it that God placed into each man that causes us to doubt and question? How do I explain that to a child?
The disciples went with Jesus on the ship, which found itself in the midst of a storm (tempest) being covered by waves. Even after all that they witnessed, the disciples were afraid and went to Jesus and cried out to Him. Did their actions show doubt or faith? If they had faith that Jesus could protect them, then why did they fear in the first place? What were they questioning, certainly not His ability, because He is after all the one they went to for help. I believe, and this is my opinion, that they were questioning His willingness. Would He do it? Do we deserve it? Can we trust Him to do it?
This is where I believe God shows us if we are surrendered or not. If we trust completely, if we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves us enough to protect, provide and care for us when the storm comes then why would fear enter into our minds at all?
What did the Lord do?
He arose, rebuked the wind & sea and then all was calm. This they marveled
at! This caused them to ask themselves, finally after all they had seen, what
manner of man is this that the wind and sea obey?
What will it take in our lives to not only marvel at the Son of God but to so
trust Him that there would be no questions in our minds at all?
And that is what I told Sammy.
Grace to you all…
PS…this was the Bible verse for today on Biblegateway…go figure!
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”