Those thick-headed disciples!

I love to read the Gospel of Mark.  His story is full of action.  More about what Jesus did rather than what He said.  This week as I read once again how His disciples seemed to simply not “get it” I thought:

What was wrong with them?  How could they be so blind – so stupid?

They saw Jesus take a few fish and a little bread and feed a multitude.  And He did this not first, but twice.

fish

 

So – you think they might get it.

This man, this rabbi they were following was more than a man, more than a great teacher.

Besides the miracles of feeding the crowds that followed Him, He also had calmed the violent storm by merely speaking to it.  He had healed a man who had spent years naked living among the tombs and cutting himself with stones.  He had raised a young woman from the dead.

So – you think they might get it.

Yet as they rowed across the lake once more and Jesus began to try to teach about the hypocrisy of the religious leaders by telling them to beware of the “yeast” of the Pharisees, they immediately thought they were in trouble because they had forgotten to bring any bread with them.

Those thick-headed disciples

Then, I stopped and realized I’m not different.

How many times in my life have I cried out to God and He has answered?

How many times has He healed me?  Comforted me?  Gave me strength when I so desperately needed it?

Yet, what is my tendency when I get sick, when trouble comes, when I feel weak mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually?

Just like the disciples, I often forget what I have seen my God do – and I start to worry, to get all upset at the situation.

I’m so thick-headed too!

I wonder how God must feel sometimes at my inability to “get it.”

When my girls were growing up, I am sure I made mistakes in my parenting.  But even so, I was a good mother.  I saw that they had food to eat, clean clothes to wear, a comfortable bed to sleep in.  I worked hard to provide not only their material needs, but made myself available to listen to their concerns, to play with them, to support them in their efforts in life.

I wonder how I would have felt if I had heard one of them say to a friend:

I really hope I have food to eat tomorrow.  I hope mother doesn’t forget to wash my clothes this week.  I’m really afraid Mom won’t buy me the new shoes I need.

How upset I would have been if I had heard them say that.

How could you say that?  Haven’t I always had good meals on the table every day?  Haven’t I always washed your clothes?  Haven’t I always bought you new shoes and clothes as you needed them?  How could you possible be worrying that I would not provide for you?

Perhaps God is up there saying

Barbara, how can you be worried?  Haven’t I always be faithful to you?

Forgive me Lord.  Help me to “get it.”  To trust in who You are.  The great I AM.

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble….Psalm 46:1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our “Gentle Giant”

Me and my "walking stick"

Me and my “walking stick”

 

 

 
Today is the birthday of one of my grandsons, Matthew.  Remembering when he was born, I always stop and thank God that he is here with us.  Shortly after Matthew was born, they had to send him by helicopter to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.  His lungs were not developed enough and he was placed in NICU.  They told us

“IF he makes it through the night, his chances to live will go up.  However, he will probably always be weak and ‘puny’.”

I still remember my daughter and son-in-law’s faces as the ambulance crew came in the room to take Matthew away.  The pain and fear in their faces were beyond description.  While I was so worried as the grandmother, I cannot begin to imagine what they must have felt.

My son-in-law, Rob, is a St. Louis Blues hockey fan.  When their first two children came home from the hospital, they were wearing St. Louis Blues shirts.  When Rob realized Matthew would not be staying at the same hospital as his mother and would be at a hospital several miles from us all, he brought a hockey puck and asked if he could leave that with Matthew.  I thought my heart would break, as I saw him lift the incubator curtain placed over Matthew’s crib to place the hockey puck close by his side.

He made it!

As my husband loves to say, “It’s not over until God says it’s over,”  Matthew not only made it through the night, he has grown up to be anything but weak and puny.  Standing at over 6′ 7″ tall, he is a giant of a man.  Strong and not one to mess with, yet he has a gentle way about him with little kids and his grandma.  Because of his kind ways to me, I began thinking of him as a “gentle giant.”   That is also the name his mother’s students have given him.  He has several times helped his mother with recess and special events for her kindergarten and first grade students.  They love this “giant” of a man who is so gentle and kind with them.

Today, I remember:

  1. As a baby, he had beautiful blond curls.  When he was two years old, I went running to the car as his parents pulled into our driveway after a drive of several hundred miles to visit us.  I opened the door of the car where he was sitting and was shocked to find the blond curls gone.  My “little” baby was gone and in his place was a little boy.  I cried a little.
  2. The “miracle” he experienced when he was 5 or 6.  His mother had told him to clean his room.  Wanting to play instead, he told her he could not clean the room because he was blind.  When Mom responded that he had better clean his room or “else,” he suddenly exclaimed, “It is a miracle!  God touched me and I can see!”  I laughed until I cried.
  3. “Matthew’s School.”  When his older brother and sister went off to school, he felt left out.  So, I started a school for him in my home.  I gave his mother a list of school supplies and assigned homework.  We took field trips.  When he was old enough to go to school, I cried a little.
  4. Last year he had three days of vacation.  He took that time (and spent his own money) to fly to Illinois to spend a couple of days with his grandparents.  I cried a little.
  5. This year he made me a walking stick.  I have arthritis in my knees and he wanted to do something to help me out when taking a walk.  I cried a little.

So thankful that this little baby has grown into a fine young man – even if he makes me cry.

Happy Birthday Matthew!