I love running for several different reasons. Getting up really early and going on a run while it is still dark might be my favorite moment of the day (except of course when I get to eat my Kashi cereal in the morning). It's still pitch black at 5:30, super quiet, and I am able to pray and reflect on the day ahead of me.
This morning I was expressing a lot of my doubts, fears, worries to the Lord while I was on my run. Just struggling between being so hungry for the Lord and wanting more of His presence in my life so bad, but also feeling like I miss it so many times and not doing the right things in order to walk closely with Him.
After I got back home and cleaned up, I read through John 2:12-15 where Jesus has just gone into the temple to find everyone selling and trading things, and gets so mad and upset with his people. Where I would usually focus on that aspect of the passage, I believe God had a different word for me this morning. If you read, and re-read verses 20-25 there is a huge message being told about our faith. The Jews demand a miracle from Jesus since He tells them to destroy the temple and He will rebuilt it in three days.. it took them 46 years to build it and Jesus was going to rebuild it that quickly? Of course Jesus' word had so much more meaning than just rebuilding the temple. Sure, He could rebuild it that quickly, but He was speaking of going through hell and death for these Jews and being raised back to life in 3 days.
What really gets me is verse 23. It skips ahead into the future to give us the disciple's point of view from this whole scene. It says that the Jews remember AFTER Jesus was raised from the dead the words he spoke to the Jews in the temple... and THEN they believed the Scripture and the words Jesus spoke.
The Jews remember AFTER they spent all of that time with Jesus and saw Him perform all of those miracles, AFTER Jesus went through all of the agony, AFTER He was beaten, AFTER He was hung on a cross, AFTER He died, AFTER He was raised from the dead..... AFTER He goes through all of this.... THEN they believed.
There's something really wrong with that. At least I think so. And then I remember the words I spoke with the Lord this morning... how I don't always feel His presence or always feel like I'm doing the right things or being with Him enough or believe He can do what He says He can... and then I read these words. I don't want my life to be one where I'm always looking BACK to see His evidence in my life NOW. I want to believe NOW that Jesus is who He says He is... That He WILL do what He says He can.
The last verses speak about how God doesn't depend on man's faith. He knows us, and knows how our faith struggles. But He continues to be and always is faithful to His words and character.
Such encouraging words for me today. Believe now. Trust now. Believe more. Trust more.