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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oh, How Fickle We Are!

My friendship with Jesus has, unfortunately, taken the same path that so many of my relationships have taken. It's been up and down, all around. We've had our highs and our lows, our good days and our not so good ones. I've offered more than a good friend's share of apologies because I've made more than a good friend's share of offenses.

But I'm in good company. And there's hope for me yet.

Now they were on the road, 
going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus was going before them;
and they were amazed.
And as they followed they were afraid.
(Mark 10:32a)

Did you notice that crazy shift in attitude? Amazed to afraid? What's that about?

And yet I've done the very same thing. 
  • I've gone from being excited about a new calling to shaking in my heels in fear. 
  • I've gone from being thrilled over an answer to prayer to being worried over the next hurdle. 
  • I've gone from worshiping in spirit and in truth to complaining that the air in the worship center was too hot. 
  • I've gone from anticipating blessings to fearing cursings. 
  • I've gone from loving the ministry to wanting out.
  • I've gone from being captivated with my Savior's love to doubting that it's enough.
  • I've gone from being amazed to being afraid.
All in a matter of minutes.

Ah, what a fickle friend I've been. I'm working on that though. I'm trying to grow in my faith. I'm trying to anchor my hope in Christ Jesus. And I'm immersing myself in His Word every day so my temperamental mood swings will grow further and further apart.

And I know that as fickle a friend as I have been to Jesus, He has stuck closer than a brother to me. As with the disciples, those twelve imperfect men who walked side by side with Him for three years, He's shown me patience and compassion and mercy.

Then He took the twelve aside again
and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him.
(Mark 10:32b)

Not even a full verse of the Bible transpires before Jesus acknowledges His twelve friends' fickle nature and pulls them aside for a little pow wow. He's been a few steps ahead of them and somehow, in His Godness, He has sensed their shifting attitude. He's felt them go from amazed and thrilled and excited about the prospects to fearful and hesitant and afraid. 

And He's not offended; He's compassionate. He's not ticked off; He's tuned in. He doesn't roll His eyes (I'm pretty sure...because in my house that's considered a sin :); but simply sighs and turns around and gathers His guys to Him. 

Thank you, Jesus, for all the times You've paused compassionately, turned around mercifully, and pulled me aside for a little reassurance.

We have a good and gentle Savior. One who leads us like a confident and compassionate shepherd; not one who drives us like a hurried and bullish cowboy. 

So if you're doubting today, if you somehow lost the excitement you had just yesterday, if the faith that beat in your heart so strong when you first got up off your knees has somehow dissipated, look to Jesus. He knows. And He is not offended. But He will put His gentle hands on your shoulders, look in your eyes with understanding, speak softly and tenderly, and remind you of who He is. 

We may be fickle, but He isn't.

2 comments:

  1. I have experienced this in my own life. As a new Christian, I was in the honeymoon phase and after a few years it seemed that the excitement wasn’t as strong. I soon realized that the fellowship with other believers was a necessity as well as prayer in order to stir up the faith from within. You said it perfectly.

    Thanks,
    Angela
    http://deeperunderstandingministry.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't quite know why, but once I went through Mark's gospel and circled every time it said "amazed" or "immediately". I think because these seemed to be two action-packed words and I, being an action-oriented kind of person enjoy seeing these vibrant descriptions.

    I love Mark's writing style! It is very energetic... a quality I embrace in my spiritual life. "Amazed" and "fearful" all in one sentence is exciting to me... sure beats "apathy".

    ReplyDelete

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