Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Majesty of God

There are two Christian radio stations that I listen to in Phoenix. One of them often plays sermons or other programs (as opposed to music) in the afternoons and early mornings. This morning, on my way home from the gym, I listened to a preacher—who’s name I don’t know—talking about the miracles that Jesus performed in the presence of his disciples. The first one he mentioned was the feeding of the 5000. (Referenced in Matthew 14:13–21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15). The preacher discussed how the disciples were worried that there wasn’t enough food, and then astounded (as was the crowd) and amazed when the food multiplied. The next miracle he talked about was just after this story where Jesus calms the storm. Again, those silly disciples worried.

I’m always a bit annoyed when I hear preachers talk about the disciples and their unbelief as though they themselves would have acted differently. Didn’t they remember in the boat how He’d fed the 5000? Of course they did! It was just earlier that day! But this was different. Their lives were in danger and they were afraid.

Let’s put it in a more modern situation. The bills are piling up. You’re not sure how to make ends meet. You have to eat, but the rent is due. Healthcare is more expensive. Gas has gone up, but you have to drive to work. Credit cards are looming and you can’t put another thing on your VISA. There’s just no money. I’ve been in this situation. Maybe not to this extreme, but who hasn’t noticed when the debits outweigh the credits? What do you do? You worry… But, silly you, don’t you remember when Jesus fed the multitudes? Sure you do. But you also remember how despite your prayers you still lost your job years ago or how your car wouldn’t start or you didn’t get that promotion…

Bad stuff happens. It’s unrealistic for us to think that God expects us to never be afraid of something bad coming our way. Guess what? Some day we’re all going to die. I know it, you know it, He certainly knows it. I believe that we Christians have nothing to worry about when it comes to death. I know where I’m going. But even then, it’s not death I’m afraid of; it’s the process of dying. Will I be shot? Will I slowly deteriorate? Will I be eaten alive by mutant frogs? I just don’t know. All of that sounds awful. I’d much rather just go to sleep. But even then, would knowing that I’m going to die that way make me not want to sleep?

My point is that remembering God’s miracles, whether those mentioned in the Bible, or those we see in our present lives, doesn’t change our humanity or our natural instinct to fear certain things. After all, bravery isn’t a lack of fear, it’s pressing on despite being afraid. I would hate to think that if I were one of the 12 or even one of the 5000 that I would be in the boat with Jesus, thinking all the while that he was going to take care of things and I wasn’t going to worry about it. When eventually he did wake up, calm the storm and nod off again, I’d be oblivious. Of course Jesus would take care of it! He always does. How then, would we give glory to God? That’s what we’re here for, isn’t it? To reveal His Glory. The majesty of God ought to catch our attention such that we must take notice and be in awe of it.

1 comment:

El Brown said...

Wow. Good stuff there. I need to find another church. It's been way too long.

That was a beautiful piece of writing, friend.