If Only…

Photo by Robert Crawford

I don’t know how many conversations I have had with folks about Jesus. Too many to count, after all, I am a pastor. Many of them with people who don’t follow Jesus say, “If God is real he would just do something miraculous and prove himself. Why doesn’t he just do that?”

Even Jesus had to answer this question. In Mark 8 we find this little interaction with the religious leaders of his day:

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side. (Mark 8:11–13, ESV)

Can’t you almost picture it? I think Jesus probably does something like this:

Now, I know that might feel a little sacrilegious, but can’t you almost hear Jesus’ eyes rolling? This interaction came following the feeding of four thousand men (probably triple that number in reality when you count women and children). He had seven loaves of bread and fed the crowd and had a leftovers enough to fill seven baskets. That’s a heck of a sign. He had already performed many healings too. At what point would they be satisfied?

The question for us is, “At what point will I be satisfied?” We have the Scriptures and the accounts of Jesus life, death, and resurrection. We have the history of the Church. It has been marked by people experiencing encounters with Jesus.

What more do we want?

I am reminded of a joke that is often told. A man living in a particular town sees rain coming down at a tremendous clip. There is news of serious flooding in his area. His neighbor stops by and says, “Grab some stuff, throw it in my truck, and you can ride with me to safety.”

The man replies, “No thanks, God will save me.”

As the waters rise the man moves upstairs. He looks out the window and one in a boat yells out, “Come, get in the boat, and I will take you to safety.”

The man responds, “No thanks, God will save me.”

As the waters rise and he retreats to his roof. A helicopter hovers over head and the crew drops a rope ladder, “Climb up, we’ll take you to safety.”

“No thanks, God will save me!”

The man dies and stands before God and asks, “Why didn’t you save me Father?”

God replies, “I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter. What more did you want?”

What more do you want? What are the trucks, boats, and helicopters in your life? Have you recognized that they are God’s good provision for you?

If Only… was originally published in The Rev on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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