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“Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He taught His disciples and said to them, ‘The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.’ But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.”—Mark 9:30–32 (NKJV)
Perhaps you’ve been there. You’re walking hand in hand with the Lord down the proverbial primrose path. All seems predictable and fine. It’s one blessing after another and you can’t wait to see what He has in store for you next. And then it happens—either through circumstance, an undeniable impression from His Holy Spirit, or a revelation through His written Word—the unexpected and unwanted comes your way! And in your confusion and disappointment all you can think to ask the Lord is, “Wait . . . what?”
That’s right where the disciples find themselves at this point in Mark’s gospel as Jesus reveals to them He would be betrayed and killed. It’s worth noting that He also said He would rise on the third day, but that part eluded their ears. They just heard the needle scratch of all needle scratches: that this same Man who seemed capable of healing any infirmity and handling any dilemma was now predicting His own betrayal and death. All they had seen and come to stake their hopes in was about to be brought to an abrupt end (minus the understanding and hope of the resurrection). This certainly isn’t what they expected or wanted to hear!
We need to prepare ourselves for the reality that all of us who follow in their footsteps as devoted disciples will experience the same thing . . . most of us already have. The Lord is going to surprise us from time to time. There will be those “Wait . . . what?” moments in our journey of faith. It could come to us on any front of life—financial, medical, vocational, relational, etc. The avenue of the unexpected isn’t what’s important. What matters most is the fact that Jesus, though He may surprise and even disappoint us, will never abandon us.
Even in the case of His own death and burial, His separation from the disciples was only temporary. He even assured them it would only last for three days. They would need to pass through this unwelcomed deviation from their expectations, and by God’s grace they would come through it victoriously. And so will we, because no matter what unforeseen valley we walk through, He remains by our side, leading us onward and upward to new heights of faith in Him.
Pause: What point of relatability do you share with the disciples in this passage?
Practice: Consider what is the most important thing to remember when God leads you to a “Wait . . . what?” moment.
Pray: Lord, help me to focus my faith on the fact that You never abandon me in my confusion, but are faithful to lead me through such seasons to a deeper trust in You.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.