Thursday, November 3, 2011

That Box of Chocolates!

Remember Forest Gump's saying, "Momma always said life is like a box of chocolates...?"  It always makes my mouth water--thinking about a box of chocolates, one with all my favorites.  Which, perhaps, is why I've put back on some of the forty-plus pounds I shed years ago.  If weight is not your struggle, perhaps you have another that takes you around and around the ring, hitting you high and low, in both expected and unexpected places.

As I read Mark earlier this week, I was struck by Jesus comments to two individuals in the same arena.  He told one woman, "your faith has made you well," and another, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe."  If only that would help me, I thought, bemoaning tighter-than-comfortable clothing.  In that same passage (Mark 5:21-43), everything happened "immediately" (v. 29, 30, 42).  Grrr....

The next day I read about Jesus returning to his hometown. "He could do no miracle there...and He wondered at their unbelief" (Mark 6:5-6).  Belief is key.  But how does it work?  What does it look like?  James says that faith without works is no faith at all (James 2:14-26).  So what did Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood do to show their faith in Mark chapter 5?

Jairus went to Jesus.  He implored Him earnestly.  He stated His faith simply.  He waited.  He obeyed.  The woman fought her way through the crowd.  She found Jesus.  She reached out and touched His robe.  If Jairus had had faith without works, he would have stayed home.  If the woman had had faith without works, she would never have made the effort to get to Jesus or touch His robe.  Their faith was evident in a choice, a motion, an action, that accompanied their words and desire.

So, in my (perhaps silly) personal example, I realized that I have been asking God to help me gain control over my eating, exercising, and caring for my body, expecting Him to make it happen apart from my effort.  I know it is a good thing based on numerous Scripture passages.  But until I get up out of the chair, make choices in line with goodness, and step onto the treadmill, I cannot expect God to bring about the results.  My faith is as good as dead.

What is it that God desires for you, based on His Word?  Will you walk in obedience, putting your faith in action, and trusting God with the results?  Will we actively seek to do His will, or will He shake His head and wonder at your unbelief, at my unbelief?

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