February 5, 2016


Mark 4:40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

By this point in His ministry Jesus had a reasonable expectation of faith from His disciples, but faith hadn’t kicked in to the degree He was hoping. The disciples had already seen various miracles and they had lived with Jesus and watched His lifestyle, but they hadn’t really connected the dots, so to speak. Jesus Himself had to adjust His expectations, exercising patience. That should keep us from being too hard on ourselves, but we still need to ask ourselves the questions Jesus asks here: “Why are we so frightened? Why is our faith weak?” Faith is a gift from God, (Ephesians 2:8-9) but we have to choose to receive it. We have to take in God’s Word and let it operate fully in us. (Romans 10:17) When we panic, we shut out everything but our senses and our emotions, and logic simply does not operate in our minds and hearts. When we know our Creator, and Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, logic dictates that “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39) When we have that assurance in the core of our being, why would we be afraid of anything?

This is very applicable to me right now, as my wife will be having an MRI this morning preparatory to brain surgery scheduled for next Wednesday. For the most part I do have “peace that passes human understanding,” (Philippians 4:7) to the amazement of many of our friends, but that doesn’t mean the devil has given up on me! I’ve got to maintain the choice to trust God. I would be delighted if the MRI this morning shows a drastic reduction in the tumor, negating the need for surgery, but my peace and even joy are not to be dependent on that. God is faithful even in the middle of the storm. He has blessed us with an excellent medical facility five minutes from our home, with a highly skilled surgeon who is acknowledged by his peers. I don’t know what the future holds, but as the song says, “I know who holds the future, and I know who holds my hand.” I am to be the support my wife and daughters need in this time, not in my own strength, which is entirely negligible, but in God’s strength and grace, which are more than up to the task.

Father, thank You for all You have done already in this situation. Thank You that our younger daughter arrived safely yesterday, and that she’ll be able to pick up her sister at the airport this morning while her mother and I are at the hospital. Thank You for the fairly relaxed day yesterday, and for the good fellowship we had. Thank You that we can have assurance of Your presence and love, not only throughout today but throughout our lives. Help each of us receive and appropriate that assurance, to be and do what You have planned for us, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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