October 5, 2016

Mark 6:46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

Praying by Himself was obviously a fairly common practice for Jesus. Even so, the disciples must have wondered at His sending them across the lake without Him. However, His authority was clear enough that they obeyed Him, even when they didn’t understand what was going on. That in itself is a marvelous lesson for us. Often we also don’t have any real idea what the Lord is doing, but we still need to be fully obedient to Him. This particular incident resulted in a marvelous demonstration of Jesus’ power. (It’s interesting that Peter, in his dictation to Mark, chose to leave out the part about his own getting out of the boat and walking a few steps. I think that by the point he was talking to Mark, he didn’t want to draw attention to himself.) We are far more likely to participate in the marvelous things God does if we don’t demand to know all the details ahead of time. We need to focus on personal faithfulness and obedience, and let Him be God. It’s for sure none of the disciples would have planned for things to happen the way they did that day!

A major factor of traveling is that normal routines are fractured. That can be refreshing, but it can also be frightening, and certainly irritating. Stress comes from a disconnect between how we think or feel things should be, and how they actually transpire, or seem to be transpiring. That’s why traveling tends to amplify and/or multiply stress. We’ve certainly experienced times of that already this trip! This is training in releasing events, schedules, and people – including ourselves – to God, letting Him be God and us being His obedient children. Last night I created problems for us (as I perceive it) by changing the dial of the combination lock on our oldest suitcase, when I didn’t have a record of what the number was. That means we won’t be able to get to what is in it without cutting the suitcase open. However, that was a suitcase we hadn’t really planned on opening until we got home, as well as being one we wanted to replace, so this is strong confirmation that we aren’t to fool with it! (Though I was a fool for fooling with the lock.) We have another 8 days before we head back to Japan (after having another stop in Seattle). We know some of the things on our schedule and will have to decide others, but we certainly don’t know everything that will happen. We need to be at peace with that, allowing God to teach us and use us as He intends, for the blessing of everyone involved and for His glory.

Father, thank You for this clear Word. Help me take it to heart and remember it as I need to throughout the coming days, so that we may indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

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