Friday, June 28, 2013

A Bible Lunch-able

A huge lump formed in his throat as he heard the call go out for anyone who had brought any food to the gathering.  There was whispering and people were starting to turn their eyes his way.  Nobody was speaking up!  Was he the only one who had a lunch today?  It was already well past lunch time and he was really hungry but he had been so intensely listening to the Master teach that time had slipped passed and now it was late afternoon.  He held onto his little bag tightly as he heard the call go out again, “Does anyone have any food?”  Should he run away and hide behind a bush?  Should he give his lunch up?  What would he eat if he did?  He was just a small lad and would probably be last in line and would more than likely get nothing to eat.  What should he do?

All of the sudden, all eyes were upon him and he heard the Master telling his men to bring the boy’s small lunch to him.  His heart sank as he followed the men and tried to get closer to where Jesus was.  What was going to happen?  His mind was full of questions and wonderings.  How could they even begin to imagine two fish and five small loaves could even begin to touch the need of this multitude?  He pushed his way through to where Jesus was and watches as He blessed and began to break his lunch in pieces.  Amazed and perplexed, he watched as Jesus fed the hungry crowd.

Aren’t there all sorts of questions that bombard our mind when we’re in a dilemma?  We know that God can take care of our needs, yet, like this little boy, we wonder how.  For instance, here’s a situation to parallel with this story, “If I give this bag of groceries to a family in need, what will we eat?”   You know, this is a very real question for a parent.  Where will our next meal come from?  Questions, decisions…we tend to have that lump in our throat just like the little lad.
All the time, we’re sitting in the presence of the One who can do the impossible.  Jesus said:

“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26)

The Creator of the universe is the same one who fed the 5,000 with a little lunch-able!  Won’t He take care of us too?  He knows our needs, desperate situations, etc.  All He’s waiting on us to do is give it to Him and allow Him to turn it into a miracle.  By giving when you might not have it to give, you might possibly be setting yourself up for a miracle.  Go ahead, step out on faith! Can you imagine the testimony this little guy had to tell for the rest of his life?  Don’t you think he was glad he didn’t hide behind the bush?  God desires to show us how loving, capable and willing He is…what is He calling you to give?  It doesn’t have to be a bag of groceries…He could be calling you to give yourself!  We can choose to question or dive right in and see what He has in store.  One thing we can take to the bank…He will always work it out for GOOD – even if you give Him a lunch-able!

Dear Lord, please help me to remember that you were the first
to use a lunch-able and you did it with style and grandeur…because you can.
Help me to trust you with the little I have, knowing that nothing is impossible
with you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Time Out for Mommy! (or Daddy)

Are there any parents out there who have MADE their children take a nap?  Or coaches who have placed a player “on the bench”?  Is it because the child or player did something deserving of this delay?  While there are instances when this may be true, it is almost without doubt most of the times this is done for the child or player’s own well-being.  Take, for instance, the star player whose legs are cramping, or the defense player who has taken a hit and is down…they are taken out of the game and MADE to sit on the side lines for their own well-being.  Why do we make our children take a nap other than to get out of our hair? J  A child needs his or her rest in order to function properly.  (Having said that, I remember as a child that Sunday afternoons were designated nap times and I used to hate it…funny how 30+ years later I beg for Sunday afternoon naps.)

Now look with me again at that wonderful 23rd Psalm:
“…he maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” (Ps. 23:2)

There are times when the Lord makes an almighty call for a time out in our lives.  Again, it is not necessarily because we’ve veered off-track somewhere.  It is for our own good though, because of His goodness…we need a break. Instead of us meeting our physical and spiritual needs, sometimes we tend to barrel on through our lives going full steam ahead posing as Super Man or Wonder Woman.  Maybe we become angry and He knows that we just need a minute or two of rest to pull ourselves back together. Sometimes I wonder if God ever feels like catching us in a choke-hold or shaking some sense into us.   We might not be intentionally playing those fictitious roles, but we are trying to do God’s work.

When the Lord sends you a time-out and makes a way for you to “lie down in green pastures”, enjoy the comfort, rest and peace He intends for you to receive during that time.  (Even Jesus grew weary and had to be ministered to.) Ever seen a child leave his bed time and time again, persistent that he doesn’t need a nap?  I’m afraid that’s how we are at times.  The Lord knows what’s best for us, but we think we know better.  The truth is, if we are going to be restored, we must do it God’s way.  Isn’t it the loving parent who continuously insists on sending that child back to his or her bed for that nap until the child finally gives in to Sleepy Land?  And my final question, doesn’t that child feel so much better after they wake up?  (The parents do too!)

If the Lord has you smack dab in the middle of a green pasture right now, lay down and enjoy the cool breeze and sunshine…it’s for your own good.  Enjoy the times of refreshing the Lord allows.  Take care of the physical and spiritual you!  You are the temple of the Lord!!!  Allow Him to restore you, for there will soon come a time when you’ll have to pick up the spiritual sword and fight again…but for this moment…take a time out!

Jesus, please help me to be more aware of when I need to rest.
When I’m tired and cranky or angry, I need to take a time out to be restored.
If you needed times like these, I know I cannot escape.
Help me to allow you to send me to time out and be obedient,
knowing that you always know what’s best for me.  My heavenly father.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Put It Off Till Tomorrow

It's easy to get so wrapped up in everyday life that we get overwhelmed.  For instance, tomorrow for me goes like this: 
9:15 - App.
10:30 - App.
11:30 - App.
3:00 - App.
3:15 - App.
4:00 -App.

Now tell me, what exactly was I thinking when I allowed all this to pile up on the same day?  The truth is, I wasn't thinking!   This is exactly what can happen in our everyday life though.  We are alive so of course there are things to do, people to see and places to go; however, we shouldn't be so "booked up" that there isn't enough time for things that should be priority.  There are only 24 hours in a day....we must use them wisely people!  

I've heard it said, "We can't manage time, time manages us."  It's true!  We can't change the length of a second, minute or hour...we must make a conscious effort to use them wisely.  What we do with our time matters; but did you ever think about it mattering to God as well?  He is hungry for relationship with us and if we are so busy doing everything else, there will be little quality time left, if any, for cultivating it. There are many "things" in life that steal our time...actually, it doesn't steal it - we give it.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  (Eph. 5:15-16)

So, I encourage US to do like I did today.  I had to cancel something!  Don't just be busy, be productive.  Take a moment, you know as in "Selah" - the word we regularly see in the book of Psalms.  PAUSE!  Take a moment to stop, take inventory and see what is most important and where God is fitting into your program of life.  There are some things that will still be there tomorrow when you awake, but something things are taking place today and you'll never had the chance to redo them.   PAUSE!!! CANCEL, CANCEL, CANCEL.  Take another look at your day when you sit down, figure it all much was busy work and how much proved to be time well spent.  Today, don't do anything, that you can put off till tomorrow...use your time wisely and include the Lord in your plans.

Dear Lord, help me not to get wrapped up and over scheduled.
My time with you is the most productive time I will have
me to use the gift of time to my advantage.  I can't afford to
CANCEL my time with are what matters most.