Our Scripture readings, this morning, are in Philippians 4 and Mark 6. Paul is reminding the people of Philip'pi to "rejoice in the Lord always." (4:4) and "but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (4:6 emphasis mine) Please note Paul is not saying "for" everything but IN everything. So we aren't thanking God, or rejoicing, for the "giants" -- we are thanking God, praising God and rejoicing because God IS with us. Emmanuel, God with us. And, like my friend Isaiah reminds us, God has us in God's hand and by the hand. (Isaiah 41:10 & 13)
Another difficult point, today, is the Gospel reading. We are still in chapter 6. The Disciples have returned and are telling Jesus everything that has happened. He sent them out, verse 7, and they "preached repentance"(v.. 12), "cast out demons and healed." (v. 13) Now they have "returned" and are trying to tell Jesus everything. I can almost hear how excited they are but also how tired they are. Jesus tells them to "come away to a lonely place" because they have been so busy they didn't have time to eat." (v. 31) I can relate to that! Can you?
Did you notice verse 33? The Disciples, and Jesus, didn't get very much time to "themselves." Probably only the length of time it took to go from one side of the "lake" to the other "in the boat." They had SOME time, however, to stop and be re-stored. Do we s-t-o-p and take the time, like Jesus is calling us to, even if it is only a few minutes? Time to stop -- hug a loved one, watch a sunset, greet a friend? Time to remember God IS with us and give thanks, rejoice always?
I know it is hard to do, especially when facing our "giants," because it is something I struggle with also -- especially driving on interstates, in traffic with road construction and a LOT of rain. I also know I am "open" to trying it (and do when I remember!). Emmanuel - God WITH us - as we are facing our "giants." Can we be "open" to "rejoicing" as we are "re-stored"? Something to think about!