I accidentally left my Bible at church yesterday, so I pulled out my old faithful New American Standard, the one with the pages falling out, full of highlighted passages, and notes scribbled in the margins. I’m still in Mark. Sometimes I think I may be in this book all year, it is so rich with meaning and continues to convict my heart. Every day brings new and profound truths that meet me in a special–sometimes painful way.
It’s so easy to look at the silly disciples in Mark 8, stressing over “the fact that they had no bread” (v. 16). In my snarky imagination, I see Jesus looking first perplexed, then disgusted, when He reminds the disciples first of Him feeding the five thousand and then the four thousand, leaving baskets and baskets of food to be picked up. “Do you not yet see or understand?” He rails. “Do you have a hardened heart?” (v. 17) “What’s wrong with you idiots?” (I figure He must have added something like that).
Then I turn that snarky, judgmental lens on myself.
Suddenly, He’s not glaring disapprovingly any longer. He’s shaking His head, eyes full of love and sorrow. He watches me staring at the checkbook ledger, the looming tax bill, the braces, the car repairs, the whatever life throws my way, and He asks me gently, “Cindy…do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?”
The disciples don’t seem so silly any more, and I can’t judge them. I’m them. I’m the one who’s walked with the Savior for years, who’s received His miraculous provision and love time and time again. And I still struggle with fear and doubt, frantically oscillating between prayers for help and plans for action. Help me remember, Lord. You have delivered and You will yet deliver (2 Corinthians 1:10).
I look at the penciled notes in the margins of my lovingly worn Bible, wondering how long ago I wrote these words: “How many times does He need to provide before I trust?” Forgive my unbelief, Lord. Let me see and understand my life as You see it–as a path along which you walk with me. Give me courage and hope. Help me transcend fear and find joy.