“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4: 39-41)
When we finally explained to our 8 year old girl about my cancer and talked about the treatment and expected side effects, she wondered what was next. We encouraged her to keep praying and talked about the importance of everyone’s cooperation during the treatment. Then she said: “But, I pray every day, mornings and evenings, and ask God to heal Frandiego and He has not done anything yet” (Note: Her 4 years old brother has a seizure disorder, takes about 16 medicines daily for his various health conditions, and do not speak or walk).
That was “a hit below the belt”. Here she was saying something that has crossed our minds but we don’t express as we want to be “good Christians” and “politically correct”. Often our fear comes from not understanding the times that Jesus has decided to “sleep” in the midst of our storms. Often the fear comes from not being able to assimilate what he does … “Who is this?” as the disciples said. Often the fear comes from not knowing how to believe again when the last time we received exactly the opposite of what we asked or expected.
I do not pretend to explain the mysteries of the unanswered prayer. Sometimes we ask with wrong motives (James 4: 3). Sometimes there is spiritual resistance (Daniel 10: 11-13). Sometimes it’s a matter of not remaining in Him (John 15: 7). Sometimes it is a matter of not asking according to the will of God (1 John 5: 14-15). And there are many other things that just go in the box of “Unsolved Mysteries”. I believe that one day we will stand before the Lord no longer seeing a reflection as in a mirror, as 1 Corinthians 13:12 states, and what we know now in part will be fully known .
But what do we say to an 8 years old girl? What do we preach to ourselves?
1. As parents we have to realize that we need God’s grace. We can bring our daughter to Toys R Us, to Disney, etc. We can teach her and modeling a Christian character. But we can’t create or simulate an experience of faith. Our children need an encounter with Jesus and for that we depend entirely on God’s grace.
2. Our circumstances may change, but God’s nature does not change. “He does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
· He is holy – In other words, he breaks all the records. He is out of any league. He is above and beyond. That’s why we don’t always understand what He does. Many times we won’t know where to categorize him.
· He is good – He is totally and absolutely good. He can’t be better or worse. He is good in his actions and motives.
· He is righteous – His righteousness is not related to what he does or doesn’t. He is the definition of righteousness. If He moves to the right, righteousness is there. If He moves to the left, righteousness is there.
On any day, and anywhere we can trust in the unchanging nature of God revealed in His word. He is good. He is righteous. He is holy. He is God. No storm can ever change that.
3. When it comes to healing I always pray with confidence. I believe that on the cross Jesus was crushed for our iniquities and that by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53: 5). I have witnessed healing miracles. As a mom I’ll never stop praying and believing that God can heal my son. And I keep praying for health and life for myself. I believe as the Psalmist that we can see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). But I also pray with the boldness of those who know a big secret. This “secret” is that anyways this world is not my home and this body is not the final word. I know that by the sacrifice of Christ, our healing is guaranteed either here or in eternity (Revelations 21: 4). And I know that we will be here until God’s purpose for our lives is fulfilled.
We know better than the disciples. After the Cross and Jesus’ resurrection there is no any doubt about “Who is this?” By faith we have seen the wounds that guarantee our healing. By his sacrifice we have access to gaze God’s goodness and holiness without fearing his righteousness.
Our prayer is that Julietta and anyone who is afraid to believe again because doesn’t understand how God handled some “storms” in the past, may have the conviction that He is in the boat. We pray that storms do not distort God’s loving nature as revealed in the Bible. We pray that you can remember as a dear pastor once taught us: that a “sleeping” Christ is more powerful than a storm fully awake. We pray that you can hear the unique and holy voice of the One who still say to the waves “quiet, be still”.
All rights reserved. Rebecca Parrilla. May/2015.