EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
Read |Mark 4: 35 - 5:20|
I haven’t been on a run in a long time. Yet, on occasion, I have found myself longing for it. Longing, not for the physical exertion nor the pain but, for the stillness of mind that running requires. Running demands so much of me physically that I have to focus in a way that I sometimes struggle to in my day-to-day living. This kind of focus is not a straining one, but one that seems to make room for the still and quiet voice. I hear God so clearly while I run. And like the perfect teacher He is, He makes use of the mechanics of the body He made to teach me of eternal things.
One of those things is expressed in the phenomenon of the second wind. The second wind is an occurrence in which after being convinced that your body will collapse, after strenuous exercise, you decide (against all apparent practical wisdom) to persevere in the activity and find that soon you are gifted power to continue with joy!
I recall beginning my running practice and being persuaded by the pain that it was time to quit. And then I came across an article in a runner’s magazine, highlighting the wonder that is the second wind. It spoke about the importance of rightly interpreting pain, so as not to quit before winning-before the second wind. The reading shifted my perspective and I started to see the pain I experienced as a sign that a new level of power was about to be revealed from within-power to propel me to the next level. And as my perspective shifted so did my capacity to endure and the joy I experienced in running. I was doing exceedingly and abundantly beyond what I could have ever imagined!
In our focus Scripture for this month, Mark 4: 35 - 41, we see that the disciples hop into a boat at the invitation of Jesus. They set off with a clear destination in mind. They are going to the other side. They are going because He said so. (Mark 4: 35 - 36). Their journey begins without interruption. They are sailing easily, that is until a howling wind collaborates with the sea to cause them pain. (Mark 4: 37).
The pain is great. It is so great that their confidence is shaken, leaving them in fear that they will die. They wake the Teacher, who speaks peace to the wind and the waves and admonishes them for their lack of faith. (Mark 4: 38 - 39).
They make it to the other side-the region called the Gerasenes. (Mark 5:1). This is a gentile region. And in this gentile region is a man who has become an outcast in his community because of the oppression under which he found himself. With no home, and unable to be restrained, he lives in the tombs. (Mark 5:3). And in those tombs, compelled by unclean spirits, he cries out and cuts himself with stones. (Mark 5:2 & 5). But, this man’s life is about to change because Jesus is coming.
Because Jesus confronts the pain of the storm, He and His disciples are able to make it to the other side. And even before Jesus sinks His feet properly into the sand, He is accosted by the man who cries out: ‘“What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you before God, don’t torment me!”’ (Mark 5:7). And why does the man run to meet Jesus? He runs because Jesus, who confronted the pain of the storm with His word, now confronts the principalities of darkness with the same effect-complete submission. (Mark 5:9-11).
The storm on the sea created the context for the revelation of the truth that Jesus has authority over creation. The storm that raged inside the man created the context for an even greater degree of glory (a second wind) to be revealed-that Jesus has the power to dismantle wicked principalities with just a Word and to bring a self destructive man to a state in which He was sitting and dressed in his right mind. (Mark 5:15).
Because of Jesus, the disciples were able to witness the progressive revelation of Jesus’ glory-a second wind! They did not witness this on account of their own faithfulness. No. It was the faithfulness of Jesus that permitted them to see that He is the God who is sovereign over the natural and supernatural. It was the faithfulness of Jesus that allowed them to enter into an awareness that He was more than Teacher, but also a restorer.
We, like the disciples, can come to witness the progressive revelation of Jesus’ glory in our lives. May we have eyes to perceive. May we have ears to hear. May we have hearts and minds that are renewed, so that we may be transformed into confident women through our reliance on the God we come to see rightly. Our God is sovereign and is a restorer. Therefore, we are confident that no weapon can prosper against us and that our broken pieces can be made whole again in Him.
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God through seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. We are confident that in living the truth by His Holy Spirit we will be transformed into women who bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body-women who are empowered to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God's Word, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.