Wednesday, November 14, 2012

PROBLEMS by Maxine Durham

(Articles between now and Thanksgiving will be based on questions to ask yourself so you can prepare your heart to truly be thankful. They are written by different women in our church. You may want to read the first one, Preparing for Thanksgiving, by Christie Smith.

When problems arise in your life, what is your normal reaction? What or Who do you turn to?

Disclaimer: I love the disciples! They seem normal. I tend to think of Paul as some super man. He was always strong and joyful...even when beaten or in prison. I'm much more like the wishy washy disciples. Strong somedays...a big weenie the next. The disciples didn't understand a lot....and Jesus was right there touching them. Paul seemed to truly "get it"...and Jesus wasn't physically with him. So, understanding my similarities to the disciples might lend a bit more understanding to my latest discovery.

We are all familiar with Jesus feeding the 5000. It's in all 4 gospels, and we probably have heard it 5000 times. Last week, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to something I'd missed (don't you love it when that happens?!). The disciples knew there was a problem...all these people needed food. And they knew Jesus could handle the they went to Him. BUT they went to Him with their feeble understanding and puny little man plans.

When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him, and said, "This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat." Jesus then performed the miracle and provided food for all, with 12 baskets left over (perfect for the 12 hungry disciples).

Usually, I keep going. But I stopped. They knew the problem and went to the One who could fix it. But they didn't ask for the miracle. They didn't say, "Can you please feed them?" They asked Him to solve the problem the way it made sense to them. They surely knew He could provide...they had seen the miracles themselves. They still didn't "get it." Whew, I don't feel as stupid now. If they didn't get it, then I'm not the only one that sometimes is slow! Not only am I sometimes slow to ask for miracles, it isn't even my first thought. I think of a way that He could fix a situation...without considering that He can do WAY more than my little brain can even begin to comprehend.

It's not that I lack faith (well, honestly, sometimes I do lack faith...but I have seen His miracles, too!) I don't think the disciples lacked faith...they went to Him to fix the problem, didn't they? I think they (I, we, you) forgot that HE IS ABLE TO DO MORE THAN THEY COULD IMAGINE!!

Another thing I cherish in this story...He still provided the miracle even though they didn't ask for it!!! How many times have I presented Him with a problem, my idea of a solution...only to find Him blow my mind with an even more amazing answer?

So, I pray that I will always remember to go boldly to Him...and to go ahead and stretch my little ole non-theological mind to ask for something big!

Mark 6:30-43
Isaiah 55:8 -9
Ephesians 3:20
Hebrews 4:16

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