Daily Reflection – 2/17/2020
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.( Mark 8:11-13)
Just three verses from Mark’s Gospel but three verses that pack a strong message for all of us.
Jesus had just completed performing miracles of an unprecedented nature. Yet the Pharisees demanded an even more powerful sign. Jesus knowing that the hearts of the Pharisees were already hardened simply sighs and walks away.
Sound familiar? It should because you and I have been here many times in our lives. There are times when everything seems to go awry. Nothing seems to be going right. At times like these we might keep asking God to give us some sign that he is on our side and cares for us. But if we don’t receive the sign it is possible that we lose faith and some may even stop believing.
The reality is that on those occasions our faith has been tested. When we respond by walking away, we are forgetting that faith is a constant process of building. It doesn’t come in a flash. It isn’t contained in a prayer. It doesn’t occur in an event. It is countless days and countless times when we yield, perhaps even sigh, and accept the reality of the circumstance.
The vast majority of us don’t have perfect faith. But there are some who do. The most meaningful years of my ministry were the years I spent in Panama. There I saw, over and over again, examples of perfect faith. As I walked in the countryside seeing little of material wealth, I also found people who were spiritually rich – far more than most.
I found people who understood that faith is patient, That faith is built upon trust. That faith is built on understanding that the Lord will answer us in His time and on His terms. So many never quarreled with that. They accepted because they had perfect faith.
Authentic faith is not based on miracles. Faith is authentic if it helps us through the trials of life. Faith enables us to steadfastly trust in God.
Faith is understanding and trusting that God is always at our side. It’s discovering new life in nature. Its discovering that in the warm rays of the sun, the Son is there to comfort us. Its finding that out of a tragedy, He walks at our side to strengthen and console. Its recognizing that a hardened heart to another offers little but cold stone. But forgiveness is a warm spring. It is needed, it is cleansing and it is there to nourish.
Will you pause for a moment after reading this and pray for each other to trust and believe that God is with us and that God is gracing us — no matter what we feel.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, show me your goodness and favor that I may praise you all my days. And give me unshakeable hope in your saving word that nothing may deter me from trusting in you completely.”
Theresa of Avila’s prayer book contained a bookmark which read: “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you; All things pass: God never changes. Patience achieves all it strives for. Whoever has God lacks nothing, God alone suffices”.
Is God enough for you?