Friday, April 8, 2016
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As many of us northerners know, the beginning of Spring does not necessarily coincide with the official date on the calendar, unfortunately! For some of us it's Spring when we see the first Robin, or the first blossom, or green grass. For me, it's Spring the day the forsythia comes out. They appear suddenly. I'm driving along the highway one day, they're not there, and then the next day there's yellow everywhere! I want to yell out the window, "Hey everybody! It's Spring today!" Actually none of this Spring explosion of color is really sudden. Those flowers have been getting ready to bloom for weeks; it's just that I couldn't see them until now.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Your Spring Is Almost Here."
There's a basic principle in how our creator God works. A lot of what He does is invisible – like the coming of Spring or the coming of a baby. It's quite a while before we can actually see any evidence of a baby developing inside his Mom. In fact it takes a test to verify that God's actually begun a new life. Again, God at work invisibly. If you based it on what you could see, you'd conclude that God isn't doing anything.
Well, keep that in mind as we look at our word for today from the Word of God, Mark 4:35, "That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let's go over to the other side.' Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat so it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown.' He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet. Be still'. And then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to His disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?' And they were terrified and asked each other, 'Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!'" Now Jesus found His disciples saying "We're in a jam and Jesus isn't doing anything!" And they even went further. They said, "Don't you care?" They were making all kinds of mistakes and accusations because they were basing everything on what they could see Jesus doing.
Maybe you're making that same kind of mistake right now. Things seem increasingly out of control. You're nearly swamped. You've been praying about it but Jesus doesn't seem to be doing anything about it. Or is He? He's promised, in Romans 8:28, "God is working all things together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose."
Right now, through this ongoing process, He's working them together. God is preparing your answer for you and He's preparing you for your answer. But, like plants getting ready to bloom, and babies getting ready to be born, much of Gods working is invisible. We mistake God being invisible in our situation for God being inactive in our situation. Wrong! He's never inactive when it comes to the concerns of His kids.
On that stormy lake that day the disciples panicked unnecessarily because they couldn't see Jesus doing anything. They succumbed to unbelief, even with a Savior who had never let them down. Maybe your storm is having the same effect on you. It looks as if things are out of control. But there is no such thing as out of control when you belong to the God who rules everything. Calming your storm is nothing for Him, He just says, "Quiet, be still!" His problem is with calming you. Maybe it's you that's out of control.
Jesus has never let a storm sink you yet. He's never left you unprovided for, and over and over in the past He's amazed you with His power, with his timing. Is this going to be different? No way! Like those Forsythia flowers, God's working will one day blossom suddenly and you'll be amazed again. But right now, when you can see nothing but more Winter, your Lord is skillfully and faithfully preparing your Spring. Don't lose hope; don't lose faith now! One day soon you'll be ready to shout out the window, "It's Spring again!"