Thursday, January 16, 2014

The BIG Questions

The sun has past its zenith and the ground is filled with people as far as the eye can see; thousands and thousands of people who'd come to hear Jesus, hungry for truth and by now, just plain hungry.

Philip feels a nudge and Jesus asks "Where shall we buy bread for all these people to eat?" (John 6:5)

Philip, surveying the crowd turns to Jesus and replies incredulously "Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" (vs. 7) or "it would take a small fortune!" 

Today he'd probably say "Seriously?!"

To their credit the disciples were examining their resources; Jesus had made them responsible by asking the question and they were assessing what little they had in the face of such a great need.  As you know they brought forward the small boy's lunch of five rolls and two fish and presented it to Jesus - in essence saying - "This is all we've got".

Then Jesus gave them instructions - and they followed them seating the people in groups, passing out baskets of food and we finish the passage seeing the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.
It's amazing!
It's incredible!
but it seems to have so little to do with life today as we know it...

Go back to verses 5 and 6 "Turning to Philip He asked ' Philip where can we buy bread to feed all these people?'  He was testing Philip because He already knew what He was going to do."

Why did Jesus ask Philip what to do? Why did he lay that responsibility on him?
If He already knew what He was going to do and He already knew that Philip didn't have the resources to meet such a need; why did He ask?

Why are our lives full of BIG questions? Why are we overwhelmed with situations we do not have the resources for: the relationships, and financial hardships, the medical issues and soul-shattering problems that plague us?

I wouldn't doubt that every person reading this has a "I've only have five rolls and two fishes and five thousand people to feed" situation in their lives.

Why the BIG questions?

Because God wants to show us that He is a BIG God - bigger than our resources, greater than our abilities, able to do exceedingly abundant above all that we can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

I'm captivated by the line - "He already knew what He was going to do".  Whatever BIG questions are in my life God already knows the answer; already knows how all things will be worked out for my good so that I will be more like Jesus (Romans 8;28,29).

He knows, and I am learning, that when I am faced with a BIG overwhelming, no way my resources can even touch this problem kind of question, that the correct answer - every time- is to turn to Him.

Because He knows what He is going to do and all I need to do is follow His instructions.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Letter to Carol Gallowitch, and Sunday School teachers everywhere

Dear Carol,
Forty-two years ago today you were a thirty something year old mom of four small children who'd probably dropped them off in their various Sunday School classes after the "fun" of getting a family ready for church on a Sunday morning...
And then you went, not to be ministered to, but to minister; to teach five and six year olds about Jesus.

I wouldn't be surprised if you left that morning after class and went about your day as if it were a regular Sunday, but it wasn't for me because it was that Sunday - Jan. 9, 1972 - that you told me that Jesus was knocking on my heart's door (Revelations 3:20) and you stayed after class and prayed with me because I wanted to let Him in.

I've worked with five and six year olds, prayed with them and their sweet tender hearts - never knowing if they really understood  they were doing...but that day I did.
You introduced me to the Lover of my soul. You told me He was calling my name and that if I would open the door and hear His voice, He would come into my heart - and He did and I've heard His voice now for decades as we've walked through life together.

Thank you for introducing a little girl to Jesus.
Thank you that, while you were crazy in the midst of a house full of young children, you faithfully ministered to other people's kids.
Thank you that through the entirety of my life that I've watched the example of you and Norm and seen, lived out for a lifetime, what it means to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength.

I know at times that I feel I've not done anything of great significance for God.  I faithfully serve in the opportunities He presents - to sing, or teach, or encourage but I've never done anything huge - maybe you have (because I don't want to say you haven't!) but what I've watched is your consistent love - singing, serving, opening your home to people constantly, praying for and with those you love - and as a result of your faithfulness you gave me the most important relationship of my life and I am and will continue to be eternally grateful.
Love, Becky