What a day! So as to not get stuck in some random end-of-the-world type of thunderstorm today, Jodi and I got out first thing in the morning for our daily 5k.
It was a beautiful day for a run. Aside from an overly ferocious sounding sheep dog giving us a bit of a scare midway through the run, our 5k was rather uneventful. It was just really nice.
We actually went a touch long. We ran 3.5 miles at a 10:31 pace for a total time of 36 minutes and 56 seconds.
We have had a fantastic time in Iowa as a family. Tomorrow we will get one more early morning Iowa run in before heading back home. It will be another full day of driving. Next week I hope to put in more miles on my feet and less miles in my seat.
Today in the scripture reading, there were three main things that stood out to me as I was reading. They are kind of random, but that happens sometimes.
First, I thought it was interesting to notice Jesus getting angry.
And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. – Mark 3:5
We often think of Jesus tossing the temple tables (which he actually did at least twice) and say, “well, he was Jesus so he is allowed to be righteously angry in that particular situation…”
But the more that I read scripture, I see him getting angry from time to time and I can’t help but feel like anger is just a part of the human experience. Not only that, but anger, it seems, is actually a normal part of the Spirit-filled life.
In the politically correct, do-not-offend-at-all-costs world that we are living in, there is no room for Christians to become angry. We think that we have sinned if we get upset (and other Christians seem eager to validate this false understanding).
When I look at Jesus, I see a very different picture. Hardness of heart seems to be reason enough for him to be angry without sinning… perhaps it is enough for us, as his followers, as well.
The second thing that stood out was in Mark 5:
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” – Mark 5:18-19
This is so fascinating to me because the man who was possessed by a demon wanted to follow Jesus. He seemingly had nothing going for him (after being possessed for who knows how long)and was willing to let go of everything and follow Jesus, which is exactly what Jesus asked for from the disciples… but this time he said, “No.” Jesus had a different plan for this man.
I love that Jesus has an individual plan and purpose for each of us. We need to lean in to God and find out what that plan and purpose is. For some it was to drop their nets and follow him. For others it was to go home to their friends and tell them how much the Lord has done.
What specific, individual calling is God calling you to?
The last thing that stood out to me from today’s reading was what Jesus spoke to the woman who suffered from bleeding but was miraculously healed by just touching Jesus’ garment.
Imagine this woman whom no one wanted to be around. She suffered from bleeding and was “unclean”. She was essentially untouchable and unknowable. She had nothing and no one. She snuck up to Jesus to touch him because she was desperate and did not even think of talking to him before OR after. She was a nobody. She just needed to get in and get out without being caught.
But she WAS caught.
And what was Jesus’ response to this outsider who tried to secretly smuggle a healing from him?
… he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” – Mark 5:34
Wow! Is there anything that he could have said to her that would have lifted her higher? Anything that could have spoken more dignity or belonging?
I don’t think so.
Jesus pointed her out as an insider. She was part of the family. Daughter.
Do you ever feel like an outsider? Unworthy? Unwanted? Untouchable? Unknowable?
Reach out to Jesus. He calls you son. He calls you daughter. You belong.