Partly Clear and Mostly Cloudy
“They asked Him, saying, ‘Why is it . . . ?’ ” Mark 9:11
We pause to look back at the current events that have stacked up in our lives. There are wars and riots, cities set on fire. There have been families flooded out by raging storms. Lives lost to violence, the last breath of a parent’s love drawn at the gravesite of their only son. We stand back to try to make sense of all the chaos and it causes us to reaffirm that not only does life itself matter, but each individual life matters.
When things go well it’s easy to believe in a living, just, powerful God, but when we experience so much tragic suffering in our own lives, and see so much suffering in the world, we wonder whether it’s all wishful thinking. So long as we try to figure out whether God is at work among us, things will always appear partly clear and mostly cloudy, but our faith isn’t based on what we can figure out for ourselves, from our own experiences and observation of the world. Christians, like everyone else, live with questions and doubts about God when they look at the darkness that has invaded life. But, we end by interpreting our life, and the world’s events, in light of the Resurrected One.
It must have been so clear on the mountain. Hearing directly from God has a way of clearing things up. But they had to descend into the valley. It was on the mountain that they got a clear message of Jesus’ death and resurrection. So, how did things become so cloudy, so quickly? One would think that hearing straight from God would have cleared things up. If only that were the case.
Jesus provided the disciples help by not helping them. Jesus helped them by allowing them to wrestle with their questions. There is a deep abiding encouragement here in this text for you and me. Jesus lets His disciples struggle with questions and does not try to rescue them with clean, neat and easy Sunday school answers. Instead of giving any answers at all, He answers a question with a question, as they walked down the mountain.
It’s comforting to know that even in their partly clear, mostly cloudy confusion, they continued to walk with Jesus. As our faith matures and we become more comfortable with the times, the questions loom over us. So what happens when we have questions? We keep walking with Jesus.
How are you doing in this season of your life? Do you have questions about God’s timing or decisions? Are you committed to walk with Him when it’s mostly cloudy?