I never thought I’d be giving thanks for teleconferencing! Zooming in with some of our Women’s Bible Study small groups has been a huge blessing – seeing and being part of the body of Christ feeding on His Word. It has truly given me a boost, a much-needed encouragement jolt! From Mark 3, we were reminded of our job description as Jesus’ disciples: to be with him, to be sent out to preach and to have authority to cast out demons. Jesus brought salvation and bound and plundered the strong man (Satan). Over and over we see Jesus’ authority but also that he wants us to be with him and co-labor with him! I find this reassuring in light of today’s current events.
Also in Mark 3, Jesus was redefining family as those who do the will of God. And we are to be an undivided family, standing single-mindedly as the forgiven children of man. Jesus was establishing his kingdom and it will never fail! Again, good reminders during this time.
After examining the parables or stories Jesus told from the Sea of Galilee describing the Kingdom of God, this week we came to the occasion when Jesus went in a boat with his disciples across to the other side. The waves were breaking into the boat and filling it, yet Jesus was asleep! His disciples did what I’d have done – they freaked out, saying in Mark 4:38, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Unphased by their panicked plea, Jesus first rebuked the wind and commanded the sea to be still and then he uttered the words that struck me, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” He could have been speaking straight to me. I thought, I need to remember those words the next time I’m afraid.
Well, that “next time” came quickly. Tuesday night about 10PM, I started having what seemed like an awful light show in my eyes. I wondered if this was a migraine headache or what. Of course, I googled and found a detached retina had similar symptoms. Scary stuff to anticipate when we were planning to head out on another road trip to Colorado the next morning. I went to bed wondering if we’d have to cancel the trip, praying and remembering Mark 4:40. Why am I afraid? Have I still such little faith? I eventually fell asleep, but the flashing continued when I awoke so I went to the ophthalmologist and after many tests learned I’m dealing with a detaching vitreous. It will be annoying for several weeks but then should subside. I was so relieved we could still go on our trip and that I wasn’t dealing with a detached retina, but also reassured that no matter what the results had been, (and face it, at some point we all get bad news) Jesus’ presence, promises and purposes are assured in my life.
The experience in the boat with Jesus during the storm was part of the disciples’ journey with him. They were learning more about who Jesus was, his authority and sovereignty and how they could trust him. We are always having new experiences with Jesus, too, and he’s continuously gracious and forgiving, faithfully growing us up in him.
I see these truths in living color as I zoom with ladies in the WBS groups! The lively banter around God’s Word as we mine the depths of Scripture is a beautiful thing. If you’re not part of a small group but would like to be, please contact me (Sharon@pbcc.org) or Shawn@pbcc.org so you too can be blessed by the fellowship around the Word.