3rd Sunday after Pentecost, June 13th
Read Mark 4: 35-41
Let us accept the fact that we all face obstacles throughout our lives. There is no exception, everyone has something going on, something to overcome; yet these obstacles are NOT almighty, ever-present, or eternal. Obstacles often have a beginning, an end, and a way to overcome them.
We have a choice in life, and that choice is this. You can either surrender to your obstacles or you can surrender to God. You can either let obstacles overtake, control, and manipulate you or you can trust that Jesus will help, encourage, and equip you to live a life worth living despite the challenge of your obstacles.
You can choose to be victorious despite tragedy and pain. “You may not be responsible for the difficulties you’ve had to endure, but you are response-able. At the end of the day, your explanations are more important than your experiences ... the obstacles we encounter are not the enemy. The enemy, more often than not, is us. The obstacle? The obstacle—believe it or not—is the way” (41).
Choosing to not let the obstacles, or the waves of life, destroy you is in no way denying that those waves exist, it is not about pretending.
We must NOT ignore those bad things that happen, we need to accept them, but we do NOT have to let them overtake us. Instead, we can make the decision to find purpose in pain and strength through tragedy.
In our Gospel story, we find that the disciples panicked when faced with the wind and waves, but Jesus reacted very differently. Rather than becoming fearful, Jesus was READY in faith. In this account, Jesus challenged His disciples to "kiss the wave" and BE PREPARED to call upon the faith through the storm of the day. Jesus assured them that they had a choice to make—they could either panic and be afraid, or they could have faith and trust Him.
so, "make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ." Hebrews. 3: 12-14 / NLT