…written earlier one May

I’ve just had one of those God talking to me clearly weekends.  Let me tell you in how many ways………………

1.  It starts with brake work on our van that adds up to  a whopping $500.00.  It sounds unbelievable even as I write it.  So, not only do we not have that in the budget, but that stimulus check that most people are getting is getting smaller and smaller as we speak for the Dillards.

2.  We have to call a plumber out to fix a backup in the laundry room.  That’s really more than we have in the bank as well.  The stimulus check just got smaller again…..but praise God there’s a stimulus check!!

3.  In Sunday school, we just had to go through Mark 8:11-21

The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.  He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.”  Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.  

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.   “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”  

They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”   Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?   Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?   When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”  ”Twelve,” they replied. “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”  They answered, “Seven.”  He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

4.  Our Homeowner’s Association Fee of $300.00 came due this weekend and if we want to use the pool and the tennis courts all summer and early fall, and we do, we have to pay it.

Now, let me tell you how all this fits together…………………..

I have been so downhearted lately about our finances.  I see the paycheck just dwindle each month as I try to squeeze every bit out of it that I can.  I buy some of the cheapest groceries I can find; we try to conserve energy in many ways; I take less trips to the Installation to save gas, and on and on and on.  nevertheless, it goes out and we seem to really struggle with it each month.  We have lots of repairs that need to be made before we can put the house on the market next year with very little extra money coming in over that period of time.

I believe God, in His infinite wisdom, set me up to see that I still do not have a whole lot of faith that He will take care of us, even though He has worked numerous miracles with our money pit house for 2 years.

The pharisees in Mark 8 had seen Jesus do many miracles and still wanted a sign that He was indeed the “political” Messiah they were looking for.  Jesus sighed deeply and said(in my own vernacular), “No way man, you got all the signs you need and you ain’t gettin’ no more signs!”  I feel for those Pharisees.  They will never understand Jesus.  They are searching for only what they understand, hoping they will not lose their power and that’s not the truth of who Jesus is.

It seems the disciples had somewhat of the same reaction to forgetting the bread.  You know, Jesus had already fed the 5000 and then the 4000, walked on water, healed the woman with the blood disorder,  the deaf and dumb man, the Garrisene Demoniac, and other numerous miracles.  Jesus heard them reasoning about not forgetting the bread.  His answer is very different for the disciples than the Pharisees.  Though having walked with Him and seen who He really is, Jesus seems frustrated but willing to reason with the disciples.  He reminds them of how He has taken care of them in the past, specifically with the large crowds, and He reminds them not to go down the road the Pharisees have gone.

I go down that “Pharisaical” road daily.  I look for Jesus in what I understand and if it doesn’t “feel” good, it must not be Him.    I am so much like the disciples as well.  I see miracle after miracle in my life and others and yet, I still am faithless much of the time.

Just so I wouldn’t get  the idea that Jesus only helps the monetarily needy, the Pastor’s sermon Sunday was Luke 8:40-56(Jairus and The bleeding woman).

Jairus is a Synogogue ruler.  He has plenty of money.  He is well known probably and has everything he needs at his disposal, but his daughter is dying.  He is desperate for help and He risks everything to go to Jesus for help.  Jesus brings his daughter back from the dead.  The woman with the blood disorder was probably poor.  She spent all her money on trying to find a cure for her bleeding.  Because of the kind of disease she had, she was probably an outcast, unclean and unacceptable socially.  Jesus, when he instantly healed her, probably restored her back to society as well because now, in the eyes of the people, she could be socially clean and acceptable.

Needless to say, when I left church Sunday I not only could say, “Yes, lord, I am faithless at times and stubborn to change”, but  I could also hear Him saying, “I love you, no matter what your circumstances are, and even when you are faithless to me, I will be faithful to you.  I will take care of you.  I will bring you to Myself.”

In this moment now, I have a measure of faith that says God has the truth and I can resign myself to trust Him.  Down the “Pharisaical” road later that I am sure I will walk again some time, God will be faithful to love and keep me.  just as He did the Disciples at every questioning moment they had.  I marvel at how much he loves us.  I marvel at how much He loves us despite what wretched creatures we are.

Paule wrestles with the same process of repeating the same sins over and over again.  His answer is Romans 7:24-25.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I don’t know what tomorrow brings, Jesus will be with me!

Lauren Dillard