Okay, so my life is totally full. I feel like it’s non-stop. From one adventure to another, from one child’s needs to the next, from one load of laundry to the next and next … I think you get my point. I love each of my children dearly, but I will say it has been a blur since the last one came on the scene almost 7 months ago. And he’s really a good little guy! Well, before this starts to sound too much like a downer, let me get to the point.
I DO NOT, I repeat, absolutely DO NOT HAVE what it takes to keep up with the necessary pace of this household. But PRAISE BE TO GOD, He will supply my every need. I really feel like the Lord is causing me to come quickly to the end of my strength, my “wisdom”, my patience (I think that was the first to go), etc… Did you notice the common factor there? MY.
So here it is…the disciples had been sent out and were traveling all around sharing the goodness of God. They get back and are telling Jesus all about everything they had done. He knows what they need. He tells them to “come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while”. They had been so busy they didn’t even have time to eat. Does that sound familiar to any of you? I seem to find myself eating standing up,not at all, picking at the kids leftovers or perhaps sitting down an hour after everyone else has finished. But that’s not what this is about here. Sorry, tangent…
Can you imagine how much these guys wanted a rest. Oh, yeah, like my little man Eli said, they probably wanted to lay down and take a nap in the shade – no doubt! I know this, when I don’t eat, I am a grumpy. So here they are, heading off in the boat with Jesus, ready to get away, take a nap, just hang with the brothers, and what do you know….there’s a gang of people at the shore when they land! ARGH! Can you hear them now? I can hear myself. I know what they were thinking. They were just like you and I.
Well, you know the story. Jesus, of course, has compassion on the people. They are like little lost sheep, they don’t know what they are doing, where they are going or how to get there. Sounds like 5 little people I know! Good thing they are cute and cuddly!
The mob is hungry. The disciples are tired. And so they tell Jesus what’s up. “Tell these people to go away!” (my paraphrase). And here, I can see their mouths drop open as the Lord tells them to “give them something to eat”. Their response is basically to say “What are you crazy, Jesus?” Then to top it off, Jesus tells them to go check and see what they’ve got on hand. Ha! Can you believe this? Is it to rub salt in their wound? Aren’t they tired and fed up with the crowds. Really, what are they going to find? Certainly, not much of anything considering the outrageous number of people there are. So they return to Jesus and tell him 5. Yup, that’s right, 5 puny loaves of bread, oh yeah, but this will help, we’ve got 2 little fish also Lord.
And we all know the rest of the story. So what’s the point? Well for me, here it is. These guys were perhaps tooting their own horns, telling Jesus all about THEIR achievements in ministry. But, He knew they had nothing of their own that was of lasting value, and they needed to see that also. Tired, spent, hungry, grumpy, frustrated. Could they offer these people anything? No, a big fat NO. As if to really drive the point home, Jesus has them really search it out. Yes, really, truly they had nothing to offer. Come on now, we know well enough these 5 loaves and 2 fish, would barely feed our own family, let alone thousands of people. So, the disciples knew, I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they were bone dry. Nothing to offer.
That’s where I’m at. Of my own, I can’t meet the needs of this household. I can’t mother my 5 precious children as I ought to on my own. Heck, I can’t even keep up with the laundry and dishes! I can’t homeschool them, and train them and instruct them in the way that is “right and good” in my own ability. And that’s to say nothing of being a godly wife and encourager to my dear husband! It’s as if Jesus has told me, “Go and double-check, make sure, let’s see what you’ve got.” And I return empty-handed.
But what is so amazing and incredible about my Jesus is He doesn’t send me off alone. Instead, He draws me in close and tells me “Now watch what I can do. Want to join me?” And He allows me the blessing of being His servant, and I take from HIS hand, and deliver it to those around me. To my children, to my husband. Where else? Wherever. My neighbor, the mother at the Y, the old lady at the grocery store. And yes, there will be some left for me. My God, He is amazing. What a wonderful God.
So, please, I say this to you and to me…be encouraged. Give out what God has given you to give. He doesn’t expect you to do it on your own.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.