“. . . while the Lord worked with them, . . .” Mark 16:20
Faith and discipleship never come easy. It feels like an uphill climb against the slippery slope of weakness. The gospels never attempt to gloss over the hurts and hang ups of the disciples. They were slow and dimwitted to learn the most basic of spiritual lessons. They repeatedly failed to connect the dots between Jesus’ message and ministry. Mark does not cover up their fearful unbelief in the storms and at the tomb. Some think the Christian life is only for those who are capable, but Mark never allows the reader to entertain such a misconception.
With the exception of Jesus, our gospel role models were fallible followers. Yet, in spite of doubt and denial, they kept believing and left a path for us to walk. Surely, they had moments of strong faith and soaring failure. We can appreciate their successes and avoid their mistakes. These fallible followers are here to remind us of something we’ve always suspected was true, Christianity can be messy.
Life is not pristine. We live in an evil, fallen world. We get upset, worried and depressed by our own weakness. There’s plenty to be apprehensive about. Sometimes we need help – marriages fall apart, jobs are lost, friends and family pass away, possessions get stolen, gossip is spread, fear appears to have the upper hand, evil escalates.
We need help because life stinks. Dreams die, promises are broken, spouses cheat, families are fractured. We live in a dying world. We feel our physical health fading with age. There’s brokenness in every level of life. We need help!
Fortunately, we are not in this life alone. For fallible followers, Jesus is the wonderful counselor. The Lord works with us to bring about a righteous outcome. The stone and seal have been rolled away, the power of sin has been broken. He works with us.
For this reason, the addictions we’ve used to cover our problems are no longer needed. God defeated the dragon, He took the monkey off our back. All of our half-hearted attempts at freedom can now be thrown in the ditch.
Identify the areas of your life in which you need the help of the Lord. Ask Him to step into your struggle.