If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. Mark 8:35 NLT
There is a parable of a woman warned by emergency personnel that her house is in danger of flooding, and they offer to drive her to a safe place, but she declines. The rains come, water rises, and the streets flood. Neighbors come in a boat offering to take her to safety, but again she refuses. Soon the floods cover her home. Perched on the roof, a helicopter crew offers to deliver her to safety, but again, she declines. Surrounded by the waters, she soon perishes. Puzzled as to why God would allow her to drown, she asks him the question. His response was, I sent you emergency personnel, a boat, and a helicopter, each time you declined my help. Her preconception of how God should answer and her stubbornness kept her from being rescued.
In Mark 8:33, Jesus reprimands Peter because Peter didn't like what Jesus was saying. He didn't want to hear what was to come. Blinded by his love for Jesus, he failed to see the bigger picture of God's plan of redemption. Without Jesus' death and resurrection, there could be no salvation.
Like the woman in the story and Peter, there may be times when we don't like the message. We even have the faith God will rescue us but want it to happen in a certain way. We are unwilling to let go and let God. Instead, we become fixated on how the answer should come overlooking the obvious. We fail to see the car, boat, and helicopter God has sent. However, when we submit to God, opening our hearts and sacrificing our egos, we find safety, sanctuary, and salvation.
God of our salvation, we confess, at times, that we have been stubborn and not opened ourselves fully to you. We have retained our need for control over your more excellent plans and have failed to be obedient. Forgive us; we pray; help us to let go and trust fully in you. Not knowing where it may lead, but confident you are with us. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.