This post is by Victoria Duerstock.
And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. (Luke 9:10-13, KJV)
My current Bible reading plan has me reading multiple chapters a day. Mostly moving straight through the Testaments book by book. I have really enjoyed this method this year and the drive to move forward through the Bible. I try to change things up each year as I read through the Bible, because I just find new and wonderful nuggets along the way. Recently, I was stopped in my tracks to ponder a truth – a special nugget – that stuck out to me in a new way.
Has that happened for you? You’ve read something before, but never has the thought struck about the way things are worded or why Jesus said or did something the way he did? It’s so exciting for me after all these years to continually be shown new things, and to have new thoughts leap up from the pages to my brain so I thought my encouraging word for you today would come from what I read this morning. I hope you will be encouraged by it.
Luke 9:10-17 sets the scene once again for the feeding of the five thousand. This is such an exciting time in the gospels as Jesus is teaching and leading and healing the people coming to him for help. This is also not the only time we read this story--it’s just from Luke’s gospel this time. This record of events states the twelve disciples came to Jesus asking him to send the large crowd away. They needed food and lodging, and the disciples were concerned because they were in a desolate place.
Now mind you I’ve read this account multiple times before, but I read with fresh eyes Jesus’ reply in verse 13. But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” Now Jesus knew they had no provisions for 5,000 men, so his instructions seem strange! Surely the disciples must have wondered how He expected them to do that, so they responded the only way they could - “we have no more than five loaves and two fish!” I found it interesting that instead of Jesus just saying from the start, yes you are right, we have no food I need to perform a miracle with the little we have, his first response was to tell the disciples to feed them.
For me, in that moment, I couldn’t just keep reading, because I knew that was exactly what God continues to do with me in my life. He reveals my complete lack. My emptiness and brokenness. My weakness and my failures. My inadequacy to do anything meaningful on my own. My complete mess of my own making with no answers in sight. He reveals my complete lack so He can reveal His glory in my story. He took the little they gathered and blessed it and fed the crowd WITH LEFTOVERS afterward. He revealed to them what they could not do so they could see His vast omnipotence and miraculous hand in and over all things.
How exciting! Let me be honest though, it’s not often I want to count up my failures and weaknesses. Truth be told, I’m rather a “take charge” and get it done kind of person and I work to get things figured out. He reminded me in the stillness that He already has it all figured out, and He is just waiting for me to realize it.
What a gift our relationship is with Him. My encouragement for you is to please--take the time to sit in His presence. That special time and place for “God time” will become such a meaningful and life changing habit. Nothing will help you face your day better than to dwell with Him.
A multi-passionate creative and entrepreneur fueled mostly by coffee, Victoria Duerstock pursues her dreams with verve and intensity. Wife and mom of three, Victoria is the author of the Heart and Home & Heart and Home for Christmas with Abingdon Press and two new titles released this fall with Skyhorse Publishing Extraordinary Hospitality for Ordinary Christians: A Radical Approach to Preparing Your Heart & Home for Gospel Centered Community and Advent Devotions & Christmas Crafts for Families.
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