Arise and Shine: Mark 10:17-30

This past week, South Carolina was hit hard with floods that rose to the heights of door frames. Their homes, transportation, workplaces, personal possessions, photographs, and precious family heirlooms, destroyed. Yet, when men and women were interviewed they were thankful because their family and friends were safe, everything else could be replaced. How very telling. Even with such tragic loss of possessions, family is always more important.

When I read Mark’s Gospel, verses 29-30 call me to pray for the families picking up the broken pieces in South Carolina. I am being called to look at my life and what God is asking me to submit: “There is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.” (Mark 10:29-30)

Whenever there is a national disaster like a flood, a hurricane, a fire, or an earthquake (why did I move back to California?) God gives us perspective on what and whom we really need in our life.

After my father passed away, I remember looking up to the rafters of my parent’s garage, and telling my mother, “This house overwhelms me.” It’s amazing what almost 50 years of marriage can accumulate and the things we hold onto over time. We live in a consumer culture where we have storage units that protect our possessions better than we shelter the homeless. We store up riches in banks, yet we struggle to trust in God’s provision. We place value in titles, labels, and belongings and walk away from God because we desire the things of this world more than the glory of eternity. Yet, it wasn’t the value of 50 years of keepsakes that made my dad (or the families in South Carolina) valuable, it was the relationship that I treasured.

All of this forces us to ask some important questions:

  • What or who do we really need?
  • What are we holding back from God?
  • Do we pray for prudence and wisdom more than riches and possessions?
  • Do we value the word of God more than an upgraded telephone or television? Heck, when was the last time you freaked out just as much when you realized you left your Bible at home, as you freak out when you leave your cell phone at home? (That will tell you what you value more.)

I long for the day when I can say to God, “I have given up everything and followed you,” as the apostles did. I will admit, I’m not there yet! I have given up a lot of things for God, but there is so much more that I struggle to loosen my grip on. I know that surrender isn’t about God taking something away or asking me to give something up; it’s about God desiring to give me something more. I know in my heart that God wants more for me, not less. He wants abundance, not enough to get by. He wants to give me eternity in heaven, and yet, I hold back.

God is calling us to go all in – to trust in Him alone! What do we need to surrender to obtain eternal life?


Image via FlickrCC 2.0 Logo added 

About the Author

Tricia Tembreull

Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a Texas-size heart for hospitality. She said yes over twenty years ago to God’s call to youth ministry and never could’ve imagined the adventures and people He had planned for her to encounter along the way. She serves as a Parish Coach for Life Teen and joyfully travels around the globe training, empowering, and praying with youth ministers. When not on a plane, you can find Tricia in a church, spending time with family and friends, in the kitchen cooking up something delightful, or on the beach for an evening walk.

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