Yesterday there was a huge problem here in my little house – in the middle of a monsoon-like downpour, with the water flowing off the hill like a river, the drains backed up, blocked, overflowed. I had 4 men in wet weather gear splashing through the house, rods, jet washes, a huge lorry blocking the road, vans… a machine sucking up water… towels down to save the house… all that stuff. It was an afternoon and evening of Biblical proportions. I’ve had the flood, now I’m waiting for the locusts (just joking, God!). The men were brilliant and kind and sort of gallant, soaked to the skin but they saved the wooden floors and carpets from the flood and even did their best to clean up the worst afterwards.
When we finally got to bed it was midnight and I lay awake until 1pm, just full of relief that it was all sorted and so grateful for the day, and then I got up and made a cup of tea and read some funny stuff by John Mortimer and finally turned the light off at two. Annoyingly I woke early and was on the beach well before six. I’m telling you all that to explain why I really shouldn’t be writing this blog with just three hours sleep to my credit in the last 40 hours. But you can’t go bed when you’re on the top of a mountain overwhelmed by the view, dizzied by the height, and shouting into the wind. What am I shouting ? Just this;
“Then he said to them, “Be diligent to understand the meaning behind everything you hear, for as you do, more understanding will be given to you. And according to the depth of your longing to understand,much more will be added to you. For those who listen with open hearts will receive more revelation. But those who don’t listen with open hearts will lose what little they think they have!”
(Mark 4: 24-25)
That’s in the Passion Translation. It’s fabulous. I must have read it a hundred times in the NIV and I reckoned I understood it. Didn’t have to think about it. I knew it. You know? And then I heard it read from the Passion Translation this afternoon and one sentence has socked me hard between the eyes, and makes me want to shout “Yes!” and do a jig there on the mountaintop “And according to the depth of your longing to understand, much more will be added to you.“
Yes, yes, yes. Oh, yes!
This is my story, this is my song – the more you long to understand, the more you understand. The more you dig, the more you find. The more you listen the more you hear.
Amazing! Takes me right back to Jeremiah 33:3, the verse that grabbed me last year and threw me against the wall and gave me a great big smacker of a kiss – “Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Amazing Word, amazing God.
And there’s another verse that’s meant so much to me this week, again a new thought about a verse I’ve read a hundred times. In Mark 4, giving us a simile for the kingdom of God, Jesus compares it to a mustard seed, the smallest seed which grows to be the largest of all garden plants. Yes, he was talking of the kingdom of God but he was talking about himself, too. It was a perfect simile for Jesus Christ, the most insignificant of men ( “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2) the seed of truth and beauty who grew to shelter the whole world. One simple man in a dusty and arid landscape, but that one man altered the course of history and eternity.
And here’s a thing that made me laugh yesterday in all the muck and mayhem – the chap who came and sorted everything out was a burly Welsh man called Mark Jeremiah! I tried to tell him, but above the noise of the machines and the thunderclap and the downpour, I don’t think he heard me.
What a name. Mark Jeremiah. If, all those years ago, Mr and Mrs Jeremiah had added a middle name, Mark Isaiah Jeremiah, how great would that have been?