Day 16

Things to Come

from the Mark reading plan


Mark 13:1-37, Jeremiah 31:35-37, Isaiah 51:6

BY Annie Downs

Text: Mark 13:1-37, Jeremiah 31:35-37, Isaiah 51:6

There is one app I use constantly when I’m driving. And no, it’s not iMessage. (NO TEXTING AND DRIVING!) It’s a map app that updates in real time when there are accidents or other hazards on the road. It even updates for speed traps.

A few months ago, as I was driving back home to Nashville, the app sounded its alert. There had been a major accident forty or so miles ahead, meaning my trip would be extended by thirty minutes.

I appreciated the alert, but didn’t love the news.

Within a few miles, the app beeped at me again with a new route. I was supposed to get off the interstate at the next exit and weave through backwoods Tennessee for thirty miles. I’d never been that way before, and I had no idea where I was going; but the app did, and that was enough for me.

After doing the bob and weave down two-lane country roads, I began to run parallel to the interstate and could see it backed up for miles and miles. Cars were stopped dead in their lanes, and drivers were out walking among them as the highway was now completely shut down. Now traveling in a steady stream of moving cars tracing the back roads, I wondered if they all had the same app and directions as me. Soon our caravan of strangers got back on the interstate right past the overturned tractor trailer, giving us a clear path back to Nashville.

I felt sorry for the people stuck in the traffic. They had no idea what was coming when they were casually driving up I-24. And while it wouldn’t have changed the situation (that poor, unfortunate tractor trailer strewn across four lanes of traffic), it sure would have changed their response to it!

That traffic app is kind, in a weird way. It sees what I can’t see, warns me of things I want to avoid. It makes me feel safer to have the information.

Maybe that’s what Jesus was doing on the hilltop overlooking Jerusalem. He chose to protect and care for the disciples—and us—through very hard times, by warning us that they were on the way (Mark 13:5-8).

Every building will fall apart?
Wars and rumors of wars?
Kingdom against kingdom?

It sounds scary and dangerous and altogether bad. This could not have been the disciples’ favorite conversation they’d ever had with Jesus. But what might sound harsh and frightening is really an act of Jesus’ love and protection.

Do these warnings ever terrify me? WELL, SURE. But they are not meant to bring fear or worry. They are Jesus’ kindness to us. He sees what we cannot see, and sprinkles in a new set of directions throughout the text. “Be on your guard,” He tells us. “I have told you everything ahead of time” (Mark 13:23). And for that, we should be so grateful.

We can trust Jesus, no matter what is coming around the bend. We may not avoid pain and suffering along the way, but He promises we will see Him in the midst of it—because He’s already there.

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Post Comments (64)

64 thoughts on "Things to Come"

  1. Maiya H says:

    God is so kind. He even warns us about what’s to come and wants is to

    1. Maiya H says:

      Okay, not sure what happened…but to finish, He even wants us to be alert – to be ready for what’s coming. I love how He prepares us…

  2. Kim Pruszynski says:

    “The earth will wear out like a garment.” It’s sobering that all other forms of life on earth work by God to sustain the earth, yet we humans destroy the earth at a faster rate than it is sustained. It’s amazing how God’s word is truth, and all of His words come to pass. It is easy to see how how the human heart is full of evil as Jesus spoke of back in Mark 7:21!

  3. Nikravesous says:

    I have always dreaded reading this text in Mark, especially the part about pregnant and nursing women. As a woman who is trying to get pregnant it gives me pause. I think, if we really are in the end times (as so many claim), then maybe I shouldn’t try to get pregnant. After all, Jesus warned us that these women will have it the hardest, and who wants their infant child to be subjected to this tribulation? But reading it this time what stuck out to me were all of Jesus’s reassurances: “do not be alarmed… Do not be anxious.” He is giving us an advantage, a head’s up, and promises to protect and even cut short the days for the sake of his children. God is merciful and He will take care of us throughout whatever tribulations are to come.

  4. Caroline Clark says:

    I am getting ready to journey out following God’s call for my life in the mission field. I am leaving college, family, friends, and normal life of a 21 year old girl. I am terrified, but I know that God sees what is ahead of me and will move me in His own timing. I love reading how He speaks to everyone so differently in these texts.

    1. Nikravesous says:

      Praying for you Caroline! It’s a big move and God will honor your faith and obedience! You are already blessing other by sharing your inspiring story. Blessings to you, sister!

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