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Mark 209 - It's Over


“If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.


Mark 13:20


When things are bad, really bad, we all want only one thing. When it hurts, when there’s so much pain, we all want only one thing. When there’s been betrayal, deception, and abandonment, we all want only one thing.


We want it to be over. We want the pain to stop throbbing. We want the hurt and the person who caused it to just go away. And when it’s over, there’s a stillness, an emptiness, a void that remains open for a while. Nothing replaces or moves into that space, it’s just empty.


And when it’s over, there is a collective sigh of relief. We sometimes even go “whew” that its over for now. We enjoy the rest from the constant pressure and pain that we’ve been under.


We’re thankful that those days of hurt have been cut short.


Jesus says something similar about “those days” of terrible pain when the enemy comes in. And the enemy isn’t just there to calmly occupy and take over the governmental paperwork. No, they’ve come to inflict great distress and anguish.


The promise of Jesus is that these days will be cut short.


Because God’s in control, he can and will restrain evil. He uses his knife to cut that evil down to size. He stops it from growing any further. It’s like when you cut down a tree with a chain saw. The tree’s no longer there, but the stump is left.


And when you see that stump, it’s a reminder of the way things were. You recall that the tree was there but isn’t there anymore. You can look back and remember, but it’s been cut off. Cut down.


But even in those desperate days, God was and is in control. He hasn’t given up or abandoned his people. He hasn’t abdicated or resigned his position or post. He’s still God, the never changing one. And because of his eternal and personal consistency, we can depend on him.


Jesus talks here about how “those days” are going to be cut short. The “those days” that Jesus talks about are when Jerusalem is surrounded by the enemy. The walls are going to be torn down. People are going to be killed. Taken into slavery. Abused. Tortured.


So, what’s your “those days” look like? Are your “those days” a botched marriage or relationship? A failed business or career? The death of a close friend or relative? An illness that’s slowly eating away at you, taking your energy, vitality, your very life?


Jesus’ promise to those disciple is that their “those days” are going to be “cut short.” The pain, loss, and suffering are not just going to come to an end, but it will end sooner than what’s normal. God is going to step in and stop it.


And the promise of God to you is that your “those days” are going to be “cut short” also. God will not let you wallow in that pain, loss, suffering until it it’s natural end. No, he’s going to step in with his knife and take care of business. He’s going to take out his chainsaw and lop off that tree.


But the stump will remain. There will be a visible reminder of what you were going through. A stump of that pain, loss, and suffering. He doesn’t dig it up or grind it down. No, it’s a memorial, a remembrance not only of what you went through, but of God’s power and intervention.


That power, that intervention from God is not for everyone. According to Jesus, it’s for the “elect.” For the chosen of God, those called out who have responded. And just who are “the chosen?”


On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.


John 7:37


The message and hope of Jesus is shouted, shared, proclaimed to everyone. Anyone. But we have a two-fold responsibility.


First – Thirsty. Do you see how dry and lifeless the world has left you?


Second – Drink. Responding to your need, your thirst, you receive.


You don’t earn it; you don’t work for it. You receive and drink. That’s who “the elect” are.


So, do you see your need? Do you feel thirty? If so, what’s stopping you from making it end? Making it over? From receiving and drinking?

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