Today’s Scrip-Bit   3 March 2023 Mark 5:34.

Mark 5:34.       And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).

At long last it’s Friday, the end of our work week, and a lot of voices have this morning chorused: ‘TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday!’ But I wonder if many of them in the Greater Toronto Area will be mouthing that platitude this evening on their commute home? Why you ask? Because another big snow storm is scheduled to begin around the time of the drive home. Can you imagine the bell ringing for the end of the day’s work, and all those workers hustling to exit their daytime slave quarters for a two day break, only to be met by a tantrum of snow blowing dangerously in a blustering wind? 

Yes, it will produce chaos. But let’s hope we use common sense and caution, with prayer and thanksgiving as we fight our way home this Friday evening. Yes, Lord, I pray that those of us caught in the storm this evening will raise the level of their faith, or simply show their faith, and turn to You and sincerely ask You to safely guide them home, because You are ONLY ONE with the awesome wisdom, knowledge and power to do it. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen! 

Ah friends, the evening hours will prove a testing ground for both the fate and faith of many, because ploughing through the deep, heavy snow, ofttimes with poor visibility, always requires a new leap of faith, regardless of how strong our faith already is. I can personally attest to that since I got caught in a terrible one last year. I got stuck in the snow three times on my way home; once on the highway; that took me about fifteen minutes to extricate myself from the snowbank. Then about a half mile from home; that one needed a tow truck to get me out, and the final one right in my own driveway. Hn, hn, hn! I can laugh now, but that Monday morning was indeed a day from hell. (smile) 

And since we’re talking about faith and Jesus today, there’s no better time than right now to discuss His awesome showing of faith in that terrible storm that almost destroyed their boat when crossing the sea of Galilee. While Jesus and His disciples were on the sea, the gospel of Mark tells us: ‘And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full (already filling). And he (Jesus) was in the hinder part (the stern) of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith. And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, what manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:37-41) Yes my faithful brethren, the wind and the sea obeyed Jesus because He was the One who created them! 

And we always tend to denigrate the disciples’ level of faith, thinking that because they had seen Jesus perform all sorts of miracles, they ought to have been less fearful. But friends, let’s remember that they were mostly young men, and most of them, most likely couldn’t swim. And I’m chuckling here now, because I also know about the perilous trials of storms on the water. Brother! Have I ever lived a full, interesting, sometimes dangerous, but certainly blessed life! 

I experienced  that storm out on Lake Ontario many years ago in a small boat, when I wasn’t as God- fearing as I am now, with some drunken friends, who were even less God-fearing than me, but were so scared, that they ended up praying too. But, for whatever reason, the Lord pulled us through. And believe me, He most certainly DID! Nothing, or no One else could have pulled us through that monumental storm. I guess He knew that if He allowed us to go under, I wouldn’t be around to fulfill His plan of writing the Bit. (smile) 

What’s amusing though is that I used to see Lake Ontario kicking up on the shore and figured it was just a joke lake, nothing like the ocean that I was accustomed to, and wondered how so many ships could be sunk in those waters. But that night I found out how it could happen. And strangely enough, one of my most significant takes from that experience is actually experiencing the ‘shivering of the timbers.’ I had often read those words in stories of the sea, but until that fateful night, never really knew what it meant. 

Take it from me, please hope to never experience it in real life, for when the little boat climbed the fifteen or twenty foot waves on the lake, then plunged down into the trough on the other side, the timbers of the boat did shiver like a fevered man! And so did we inside it! Now, because I know what it’s like to be caught on the water in a terrible storm, I don’t denigrate the disciples’ fate as much as some people do. 

That brings us to the story of Jairus, the synagogue leader who came to Jesus to save his dying daughter. While going with him to his home, this woman who had had an issue of blood (a blood flow) for 12 years but could find no relief through physicians or other treatments, heard that Jesus was passing through and decided to go and see Him, ‘For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.’ (Mark. 5:28) So she pushed through the crowd and touched the hem of His shawl. ‘And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of the plague (affliction). 

And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue (power) had gone out of him, turned him about in the press (crowd), and said, Who touched my clothes? And the disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague (affliction).’ (Mark 5:29-34) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s the kind of faith we need to have in these turbulent and disastrous times! Faith that causes us to push through whatever comes against us to reach to Jesus! But it all begins with prayer. So, as one strong and sincere voice, let’s offer up our Friday Chant, in faithful communication with heaven. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the confusion and anxiety caused by the pandemic and our many other serious problems. We can’t fix them on our own Lord, so we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat the simmering unrest in our land. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, without further serious setbacks. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to return backsliders to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a new flock of believers, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic, the bubbling discontent and dissatisfaction in our land, as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, wake up and smell it sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’

 Now, it’s time to action our faith; let it come to the forefront and do the things we’ve promised. Much LOVE!

…one can only have faith…when one first believes…  

P.S. Please forgive the Bit for being somewhat late and long. But I believe it certainly makes up for those shortcomings. (smile) Much LOVE!

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