Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Loaves

                They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves...
                                                                       Mark 6:52

Loaves can keep us from seeing the Lord in the eye of our storms.

"Loaves!"   I have a lot of loaves in my life... A LOT.

For instance,  I will never understand the brutality of war, the rape of a child, the ravages of cancer or the torment of a darkened and depressed mind that slips silently into suicide.

Why must a sojourning heart wait a lifetime to dock at the shore of its soul mate--after it's too late?
Why didn't you spare my mothers' life?

How can such tragedy exist under an omnipotent and supposedly loving God when all it would take to prevent any of this would be the wave of His hand or a word from His mouth?  I don't get it.

"If there is no God, why is there so much good?  If there is a God, why is there so much evil?"*

As the story goes, the disciples had just finished feeding the five thousand and been sent ahead by Jesus to the other side of the lake. To Bethsaida.   Scripture tells us they departed in the evening, so I'm going to guess that would be sometime between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.
When the disciples reached the middle of the lake they began to experience high winds that caused them to strain against the oars.  Where was Jesus in all this?  Praying!   From the safety of high ground and dry land!  Watching the whole ordeal! And apparently it wasn't until the  fourth  watch, which in Roman time was between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m., that Jesus finally decided to pay his respects to his friends.That's a minimum of 10 hours of struggle before Jesus appeared,unrecognized by them and walking on water.   He quieted the storm and  They were amazed,  for they had not understood about the loaves.   

Jesus asked  "why" as well,  in the garden,  as he faced imminent suffering and death.
Abba, Father, everything is possible for you...
Essentially Jesus was telling God, I KNOW you can solve this another way. I KNOW you can soothe my agony, alter my fate, change my situation.
God didn't.
More loaves.

I don't know the answers to the hard questions of life. 
I do know, however, that God ordains praise because of our enemies, to silence them.
Somehow praise is a weapon. Praise has a purpose. Praise in afflictions develops completeness.

God,  in his sovereignty,  is over all, through all and in all.  
God has put everything under his feet and that includes your affliction.
God has your storm completely under the auspices of his divine eye and will.

I may not be happy about my affliction, in fact I may be down right angry.  And I certainly won't feel like praying or praising him in the midst of it.  But I will.
There will most definitely be times I won't feel like even reading his word.  But I will.  Even if it's just mechanical lip service I will recite the word, for the word is life,  and I need to read life as much as I need to breathe air.
Gods goal for us is to be holy and complete, to persevere and praise,  therefore:                   

                             I will give thanks in all things,  for this is God's will for me.  

                  I praise you Lord, for you will be revealed and glorified  in my struggles.
                                                                 Exodus 14:4

"If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad." **

We can't just settle for relief, we must seek redemption!  This is the ultimate goal of all man.

**Ruth Stull
 Mark 6:52   Mark 14:36    James 1:2-4   Ephesians 4:6   Psalm 8:6   1 Thessalonians  5:18