WHERE’S YOUR FAITH?

The Second Sunday in May

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Not Alone

February 23, 2015

 

 

     It can be terrifying.

 

     You walk outside. You are alone.

 

     It’s dark. You are alone.

 

     The only sound is the loud chirping from the crickets. You are alone.

 

     You stop before entering your car to leave and you decide to look up. You are alone.

 

     Your breath is taken away as you notice the trillions of stars above and you realize how small you really are. You THINK, you are alone.

 

     BUT YOU ARE NOT.

 

     I don’t mean you are accompanied by extraterrestrials.

 

     It can be easy to believe you are all alone. Not alone in that you are the only human being on the planet. We all know there are billions of people on Earth. Yet, there is still a way of feeling all alone.

 

     Millions of people may claim to believe there is no God and they feel alone in this universe. They believe there is nothing or no one "out there."

 

     What we do not admit is there are millions of people sitting in church pews week in and week out that have confessed belief in God and faith in what God has done for them and they feel just as alone.

 

     Wait! What? How can it be?

 

     Is it really possible for you to believe God exists, to believe God is with you no matter where you are or what you are going through and still feel all alone? Yep. Yes it is.

 

     Even the disciples felt like this. In Mark 6, the credit is always given to Jesus walking on the water. We rarely talk about the hardened hearts of the disciples. What?

 

     The same disciples that literally were JUST called, witnessed Jesus calm a storm, heal a bleeding woman, raise a girl from the dead, feed 5,000 people with a little bit of food? Those are the ones with a hardened heart just like Pharaoh?

 

     Yes.

 

     Let’s not act like we do not understand how it happens.

 

     The disciples were sent away by Jesus for a few moments so He could pray alone. Jesus finished praying and noticed the disciples in the boat, being rocked by a storm. Jesus proceeds out on to the water, not by boat, by foot. The text says, “would have passed them by.” Jesus was, perhaps, going to see how much they really believed that in the midst of this storm, they would be ok.

The disciples suddenly are terrified at Jesus’ presence because they think He is a ghost. For a moment, Jesus’ presence is more frightening than the storm they are in. Jesus assures them to be encouraged. He tells them to not be afraid because it’s just Him.

 

     I can see it now. Jesus, just taking a gingerly stroll on the water saying to the disciples in the boat, “Hey don’t worry! It’s just me walking on the water that’s being tossed back and forth like crazy because of this storm. Don’t be afraid!”

Of course they wouldn’t be afraid…right?

 

     Jesus goes up to the boat and the storm ceased. Mark 6:52 says, “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their hearts were hardened.”

 

     What happens when storms pop up in your life? What happens when you feel you have everything under control and something blows up that throws it all off? What happens when you are holding on to things that you think are providing you safety and suddenly those things are taken away?

 

     What do you do? Do you stand there, while looking up at the sky, at all the stars, and feel all alone?

 

     Has your heart hardened? Have you witnessed the greatness of God yet stand feeling alone?

 

     The disciples knew this all too well. They were face to face with Jesus—saw Him all the time. They saw all the amazing miracles He performed. Yet during the times storms arose, they felt all alone and scared.

 

     It’s ok. If you claim to believe in God or if you feel there is no God, it’s ok to feel alone. These guys were right there with God, yet felt alone.

 

     What we have to acknowledge is our fears. Some of us are terrified at the vastness of the universe. It makes us feel small, insignificant, unimportant, alone. We are afraid that if we realize how small we really are in this universe, we will feel more and more alone.

 

     For those who do claim to believe in God, you will ALWAYS feel alone and afraid until you learn to acknowledge God MORE than you acknowledge that which you are afraid of.

 

     I cannot provide you a picture or product or a formula that will literally show you the existence of God. The existence of someone greater than us, that created us, that still, somehow, cares about us. That’s what faith is about. It’s about believing the unseen. Some people call that crazy. Call it what you want. It matters. It matters to you whether you realize it or not.

 

     There are times, and will be times, you feel alone. Remember we have all been there. To an extent, it’s all right to feel alone.

 

     The only way to not feel alone for all of eternity is to give more belief in God than your fears. Do not let your fears shape how you live your life. You are not alone. Don’t live like it. Release your fears to God and let Him take them away. Live free. Live the life in which God has blessed you.

 

Nick Lewis

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