Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 13 October 2014.

As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.- Mark 1, verses 29-31.

Why is it so hard for us to believe in the amazing?

Yesterday, my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson had Sunday dinner with us.  It wasn’t a special occasion, and the menu wasn’t especially auspicious; pasta and sauce.   And wine, of course; we enjoy wine.   Anyway, my grandson and I were making faces across the table.   Something about me wiggling my eyebrows made him giggle, so naturally I kept doing it.   I’ve said it a lot since he was born:   it’s so much fun to be a grandparent.   It’s a huge blessing. In fact, it’s amazing.   Watching a life grow and develop is amazing.

Over the weekend, another Ebola patient was diagnosed here in Dallas.   As I’m writing this, doctors have no idea how she contracted the disease. For my friends in Africa reading this, perhaps this seems like no big deal because thousands of people have contracted Ebola just this year alone and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.   Here in the US, because the health worker was apparently following all the rules that the Federal government prescribed, people are starting to get nervous.

It’s amazing if you think about it.   The seemingly all-powerful thermonuclear United States government is powerless against a string of DNA. What amazes me more is how believable that is, how many millions of Americans believe the amazing fact that there is a dangerous force working against us that seems to have our best medical measures on the ropes. Because there is.

We believe that and it’s amazing.   In time, children grow.   In time, we will make progress in fighting this disease.   In time all things happen, even those difficult to understand, because of God’s more powerful, profoundly amazing grace. Knowing that, why shouldn’t we believe that Jesus could heal someone dying of fever?   Perhaps Simon’s mother-in-law didn’t have Ebola but she was still in a deadly condition.   Her illness was beyond the influence of first-century medicine.   Yet it wasn’t beyond Jesus.   He simply touched her and amazingly she was healed.

Why doesn’t that happen now?

Perhaps the real question we should ask ourselves is “why aren’t we amazed when it regularly happens?”   We’d be naïve to think it doesn’t. For every terrible story of an Ebola patient who dies an agonizing death there are many other stories of people who came in contact with the disease and survived.   Or heroic people who gave of themselves for others.   For every awful account of someone dying a horrible, painful death of cancer, or AIDS, or any other disease, there are countless other stories of people overcoming those same conditions.   If you let yourself think about it, that’s quite amazing.

Like watching your grandson grow up.

That’s because God Immanuel is still powerfully working through the ordinary to do the extraordinary here and now, in our post-modern unbelieving world. His touch is still more than enough to rejuvenate us when our own medicine seems helpless.   Or when we consider blessings like our grandchildren. Or when we realize how deep is the love of Him who amazed us with it.

Lord, Your amazing love is sufficient for everything and more powerful than all my best efforts.   Thank You.

Read Matthew 4, verses 23-25.


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