I have been reading through the gospel of Mark for the last 8 weeks. And along with reading, soaping. (done in a journal, its :S.O.A.P.= scripture, observation, application, prayer)
The last few days readings have been tough. It's nearly the end of Mark and so I am reading the story of the crucifixion and resurrection this week. Each day this week I have read about betrayal, brutal attacks, shame, abandonment, and death.
I have observed what each person is doing in each passage I read. sometimes I have noticed things I may have glossed over before. Taking what I read and applying it to my life has been difficult at times. Asking myself before closing my journal; how will I be different today because of what I just read? I think my biggest take away from this weeks reading has a common theme. When life gets tough, really tough, where will I stand? Will I stand firm in my faith? Press in closer? Or will I deny Him? Will I stay true to my identity in Christ Jesus or will I be pulled under by the lies of the enemy?
I am so much like Peter. Impulsive. Impetuous. Easily excited. Full of faith and ready to take the leap. And... just like Peter, putting my size 9's into my mouth on many occasions. I am walking on water one minute and sinking fast in the next. I make promises with heart felt good intentions and then break them before I have realized it.
I think about the women who came to the tomb that morning. When they see the stone rolled away and the tomb is empty, and they seek to find answers. To find Jesus. When Jesus seems far away from me, will I be tenacious in pressing in closer to find him?
A lot of good, hard questions this week.... I don't always walk away from my quiet time with a smile on my face, but rather a frown on my brow as I take contemplative steps into my day. But underneath even the most convicting thoughts, I have one constant. Jesus loves me. He really, really loves me. And just like He loved Peter and forgave Peter and welcomed him back into the fold with open arms, He loves me that way too.
Because of this, despite the heavy thoughts, there runs a current of joy.
Because I know how the story ends. And a new one begins. One with Unlimited Possibilities.