Mark 8:34-35 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
The vehicle in front of me on the road this morning caught my eye. It was a silver van with a ladder tied onto its roof and it was towing a trailer shaped like a box on wheels, filled with tools. Handles poked up at odd angles above the edge of the rusty, dark olive green trailer. What drew my attention though was a small, oblong, silver plate attached to the lower right hand corner. The gold lettering on the plate said, "In God We Trust."
I'd been thinking as I drove about the how a lot of what I'd read that morning at home, was pointing to the fact that God wants us to trust him, and almost sets us up in situations where we have to. So seeing that plate, there in front of me, made me feel as if God was saying, "Yes, you were hearing me right this morning."
I'd read some of Leviticus, the book I'm in at the moment. God seemed to be talking about Sabbath over and over and I wondered why it was so important to God that we rest, that the land even rest. I couldn't get away from the fact that Sabbath seemed awfully important to God. I thought that maybe he was saying, "You will get more done in six days than you will in seven if you trust me and the land will produce all you need if you let it rest every seventh year." He was saying, I think, that work beyond the boundaries he sets can actually be counterproductive because we are relying on ourselves, not him.
Then I turned to Mark 8 and I read about Jesus miraculously feeding the four thousand people with seven loaves and a few small fish and having leftovers--seven baskets full. Just after that the disciples and Jesus were in the boat and the disciples realized they'd forgotten to bring any food. All they had was one loaf of bread. Jesus asked if they had forgotten so quickly what had happened when the huge crowd was fed with so little. There seemed to be a connection with what I'd read in Leviticus.
Maybe "resting" means taking a rest from trying to meet all of our needs in our own strength and giving them to God.
One thing I know about the Bible is that it tells the truth. The heroes are all flawed; their mistakes are there for all to see. But nowhere is it recorded that anyone ever trusted God and he failed them.
"In God We Trust;" I think I have something to learn about doing that more fully. God asks us to do things that make no sense from our point of view, and to do so is to step from the realm of the natural into the realm of the miraculous. I'm up for that!