Links Daily Devotional

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Am I Trembling?

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:8, NIV)

“Every man,” they say, “has his price.” It’s a seedy expression, one that suggests that any person can be bought, dared into doing the very worst if the price is right.

Athletes speak of a similar principle—that each one has a breaking point, a moment at which the pressure becomes so great that the athlete’s ability to think clearly or make the right physical move breaks down. In golf, this is the promise of a trophy or a check so meaningful that a golfer’s vision blurs or his hands quiver over a putt he has made a hundred thousand times.

It should come as no surprise, then, that we are a people schooled in steeliness. We do all we can to prepare ourselves for those moments in life that would make another person shake and break. But not us. No! We will be the one to stand. Machismo isn’t just for men anymore. We’re all supposed to have the ability to clear our minds, clench our abs, and deliver in the clutch.

When this approach to life gets layered over our faith, however, I fear that we miss the meaning behind so much of God’s work. Because if nothing affects us in our gut—if nothing causes us to tremble—how do we know we’re even alive, let alone alive in Christ?

The account of the women leaving the tomb after discovering the resurrection of Jesus is just one of many places in Scripture where people quake. Their fears (which are often a collection of so many other emotions) grip them and they feel the import of the hour. They recognize a seizing of their spirit, and they know it is God.

In a modern culture tending towards naturalism—a perspective that increasingly infringes on our view of Scripture and God himself—we must defend against the steeling of our spirits, the flatlining of our souls. God’s most powerful actions always produced deep emotional responses in those who populate the pages of the Bible. Certainly, they should produce the same in us. This is God’s way of getting our attention; we sure don’t want to be guilty of not then giving it to him!

Jeff Hopper

September 14, 2012

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