Friday, December 26, 2014

Immediately

I read the first chapter of Mark today. After noticing the word "immediately" repeated often, I counted how many times it showed up in the ESV translation's description of the start of Jesus' ministry. Forty-five verses and "immediately" appears nine times.

As a writer, I'm taught not to repeat words that often. Actually, I'm taught to not even use immediately because it's an adverb (it describes a verb), and writers are supposed to be able to pick a specific verb that doesn't require describing. Like, instead of saying "She slowly walked," writers might pen something like, "She trudged." The verb is specific, so we don't need that "ly" word. Your English lesson for the day ;)

That's why I noticed the repetition in the first chapter of Mark. If a word is going to be repeated that many times, it's supremely important to a writer. Why was "immediately" so important to Mark?

I'm going to guess it's because of how long the nation of Israel had been waiting for their Savior. Since the fall in the garden, generations and generations of people had been looking forward to the One who would right the broken relationship with God. Jesus was finally on the scene, and now that he'd come, things were happening FAST.

We just celebrated Christmas, when God made good on the promise to send a Savior. God said it would come, people waited and waited, and one day, it happened. And we're still celebrating that today, about two thousand years later.

Similarly, Jesus promised that he would return to Earth one day. He promised the world as we know it would pass away. He promised judgement for sin and salvation of believers. The promise was so long ago, it's easy to think maybe it'll never happen. To forget it.

But one day, it'll happen. And then a bunch of other things will happen, one immediately after the other. For those who have trusted in Jesus Christ, who have chosen Him to represent them to a Holy God, this is wonderful news. Something to be excited about. 

On a smaller scale, I'm waiting for some things in my life right now, and I think this truth about waiting can be applied to these more personal longings, as well. There may be a long wait as I look forward to good things to come, but at some point, God will make good on His promises.

I don't know that His provision or plans for me look the way I hope they look or will come when I hope they'll come, but I'm assured that they'll be good, whenever and however they come - even if some of my prayers aren't answered during my life on Earth, there's hope because I serve a faithful God. And when those promises are fulfilled, I'll be so excited that it'll seem like everything's happening all at once. I'll forget the wait. I'll use the word "immediately" nine times or more as I describe the good, good things God has done for me.

Love,
Your Sister

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