The wedding is less than four months away! It’s so exciting, but it’s less than four months away! Krissy just joined the soccer team and there are shoes, uniforms and various other soccer “stuff” she needs. The van, good ol’ “Nugget”, is making a weird noise but it usually does so I’m ignoring that. We’re paying off the much-needed tonsillectomy and the associated bills that go along with that. I think I should go into anesthesiology, I’m in the wrong business. (Thank you, Lord for health insurance, though) The cats need to go to the vet…someday. But really, they’re in excellent health right now and what do they have to complain about? Woops, don’t forget the sports physical, orthotics, and a few other things that will need taking care of before long. The girls will need more boxes of contact lenses soon, too. While thinking (stressing) about all of these things, I became aware that Krissy will also need a car to carry out the summer job she’s hoping to have of being nanny for my brother’s kids in Alabama. How are we going to get a car? That’s only a few months away!
I had to go to the bedroom and shut the door. On my knees, I cried for a while. The awareness that our resources are falling waaaaay short of meeting obligations or needs gets to me. I needed to vent some pent-up emotion anyway and it seemed a good moment for a freak out. At least I was freaking out to God and not just by myself, rocking with my knees hugged to my chest in a corner somewhere. Right?
It felt good to just let it out – all that pressure. I know everyone faces situations like this. Life tends to be that way: obligations, needed repairs, medical bills, special life events, and so forth seem to pile up in groups, multiply, and avalanche down on top of us – like the old adage “when it rains, it pours.” I was feeling a little smushed under the pile up.
And really, we are so blessed, with so much to be thankful for.
God brought to my mind a conversation my sister and I had just earlier that day, before the “we need another car” moment. We were talking about how God was in control, how He was good at details, how we could dream big and trust Him. God also lovingly poked me in the ribs and reminded me of the scripture I had read just that morning from Mark 4, about the disciples’ freak out during a bad storm at sea.
Their boat was actually starting to sink from the rocking waves and sloshing water, but Jesus remained asleep at the back of the boat (which is impressive considering how bad the storm was). They got to the tipping point, where they couldn’t take it any more, and shook him shouting “We’re gonna drown! We’re gonna drown! Do something, Jesus! I can’t swim! Aaaaaaaaahhhh!!” Okay, that’s a little paraphrase there, but I bet that’s how they felt!
Jesus woke, stood up, told the wind and waves to stop it and then asked the disciples, who stood there dripping and astonished, “Why were you afraid? Why didn’t you have faith?”
That seems a little harsh to me. I mean, their boat was beginning to sink and it seemed Jesus didn’t care or wasn’t aware. That would most definitely be an “afraid” moment. It seems the fact that He was there with them was supposed to be enough.
He did stop the storm, none of them drowned, and all was well. He did care.
So, on my knees, crying and blowing my nose into multiple tissues, having a little freak out I prayed, “How are we going to do all of this, God? And with what?! I have run out of ideas. We need your help! Aaaaahhh!” My little boat was filling up with water and it felt like God was sleeping at the back.
It helped to be honest with Him and then remember that if I don’t have what I need, God does. He is with me and even if my boat DOES sink, He is with me. He will take care of us. He will make a way. He has unlimited resources and can even tell the wind and waves and anxiety to stop it.
I felt peace the next morning while I read some more in Mark (ch. 6), when Jesus’ disciples once again were perplexed. There was an enormous hungry crowd of thousands lingering after listening to Jesus teach all day. Jesus had just instructed the disciples to feed them. “How will we do that?!” they asked, probably with deer-in-the-headlights expressions on their tired faces. Jesus said, “Bring me what you have.” They found a boy with a sack lunch and gave it to Jesus. Jesus then did what He always does: provided, worked a miracle, proved able and faithful again.
God has been saying to me (and to John), “bring me what you have.” I know He will do the rest. He is already doing it. Things get taken care of and resources arise that I had no way of orchestrating. The best part is the peace that comes when I remember to trust Him, no matter what. Not even a little freaking out.
That evening, Jesus said to his followers, “Let’s go across the lake.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him in the boat just as he was. There were also other boats with them. 37 A very strong wind came up on the lake. The waves came over the sides and into the boat so that it was already full of water. 38 Jesus was at the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a cushion. His followers woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are drowning!”
39 Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm.
40 Jesus said to his followers, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:35-40 NCV
Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. 36 Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”
37 But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money[g] to buy food for all these people!”
38 “How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”
They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.
41 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. 42 They all ate as much as they wanted, 43 and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. 44 A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed from those loaves! Mark 6:35-44 NLT