You either trust me or you don’t. This was maybe the most powerful word I have ever received in my entire life.
A couple of years ago while going through a moderate (or potentially life-threatening) series of events in my life, I heard those words as if spoken directly to me. These words were simple, straightforward and to the point. No flowery King James English, no “Thus sayeth the Lord” just simply “You either trust me or you don’t.” How do I argue with that? What recourse do I have? While reading in the 8th chapter of the gospel of Luke, I found I was in good company.
In verses 22-25, we are given an amazing account that can be easily passed by if read in haste. Jesus and his disciples are crossing the lake and sometime after they set sail Jesus falls asleep. Suddenly, a windstorm appears with such force as to start swamping, or potentially sink the boat. At this point, do all of the disciples react with great courage and maturity? NO! They panic and do what I have done many, many times; they go straight to the worst possible outcome: (v.24) “Master we are perishing”.
In Mark’s gospel it is recorded like this: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Sitting on my high horse it is all too easy for me to call them out for not trusting, especially after seeing all the miracles that Jesus has already performed in their presence. It now becomes a teaching moment for them, as well as all who will read these verses over the next 20 centuries.
They awaken the Master (I can almost see him in my mind’s eye), not entirely happy that they have disturbed his time of rest. Then he does something that reading it to this day still strikes me with awe. He rebukes the wind and the sea, and it obeys. After seeing this in verse 25 we read that the reaction was once again fear, but a different kind of fear this time. They realize the power of God, that even the wind and the water must obey him. I would give a lot to have been on shore when they landed and overheard their conversation.
We are told also by Mark towards the end of the chapter, Jesus is heading to the home of Jairus, a synagogue ruler who’s daughter is very ill. He is stopped almost before he can start because he is told she is already dead. Hearing this he replies back to them (v.52) “Do not weep for she is not dead but sleeping.” Their disbelief is so strong that they begin to laugh at his statement. It must seem ridiculous to them. Well, we know what happens next. Jesus, Peter, John, and James enter and pray and her spirit returns. This time those who do not trust are those who look at the facts and circumstances and not the power of God.
So what can we take away from this? There comes a time in every Christian’s life when he has to settle this in his or her own heart. Either I trust him or I don’t. My advice to you is this: don’t pick out the color of your shingles until you have laid a solid foundation under your house. God’s love and mercy are life-giving, beautiful, and free. He is sovereign and worthy of our trust. I have chosen to trust him. All my eggs are in one basket, and I have no back-up plan. I am a bond-servant of Jesus and I pray that I will serve him well all the days of my life.
Thank you, Paul, for your passion after our Lord!
Thank you, Paul! We see over and over through the Gospels, people not believing/trusting Jesus can take care of a situation. Today, we all face circumstances where we ask: “Do I trust Him or not?”