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  • Kathleen Brewer


In the Olympics, athletes train for their competitions for years. They get up very early in

the morning to train, to put their bodies through rigorous drills and stress to prepare

them for the biggest and best competition in the world. Often simple injuries cause them

to miss winning their competition and they have to wait to heal and retrain for four more

years to try again. It is tough and grueling. I love to watch the Olympics, even though I

was never good at sports because I respect those who have worked so hard and through

so much to reach that pinnacle for their country.

We have just paused for Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. As we prepare for Easter, I like to stop and read the chapters in the Bible before Jesus’ death. I have been reading Mark 10. In Mark 10 Jesus is teaching the disciples. When we get to verse 32-34 Jesus predicted to his disciples what was going to happen to the Son of Man. In verse 34 Jesus says, ”They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but

after three days he will rise again.” (NLT) It wasn’t a pleasant picture.

However, in verses 35-37 James and John came to Jesus and asked “When you sit on

your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honour next to you, one on

your right and the other one on your left.” (NLT) Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But

after what Jesus had just said would happen to the Son of Man, I would be a little wary

of saying what James and John did, but not these two.

Jesus replied in verse 38 ”You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to

drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be

baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?” (NLT) In verses 35-45, Jesus goes on to talk about serving Him and those wanting to be a leader and having these special places in heaven. First of all, Jesus points out that this decision is up to the Father, not him. Secondly, to be a leader one must be a servant to others and a slave to everyone else. To be the greatest you must be the least.

You and I often go through different kinds of trials. And I know that I can get

discouraged when I do. We feel that we shouldn’t have a lot of pain or suffering but that

is not what scripture teaches us. When I read this chapter, I was reminded of what Jesus

went through. I also remember that we will as well go through trials of suffering as

Jesus did. However, the good news to remember is that no matter the trial, God, is with

us. God knows what we can stand and He will not let us go through something that He

feels we are not able to withstand. God is our Refuge. God is our strength. God is our

training coach God will encourage us in our trials and our service. He knows what we

need on this road to heaven.

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