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Jesus and the Disciples in a Storm

Wow! I’ve been resting on Matthew 14:16 the last few days. For days I couldn’t seem to get past this single verse: “But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. YOU give them something to eat.” (emphasis mine)

Confusion

What was I supposed to glean from that verse that would be applicable to my life now. My “nest” has been ruffled up. My comfort zone is not “comfortable” right now. What do I have to offer…to GIVE…Feeling off-center and a bit like I was sinking.

What Do I Have to Offer?

Meditating on this single verse has been a lifeline…pointing me to clarity of purpose once again.

There were leftovers

This verse is part of the story of the 5 loaves, 2 fish. AND of the 12 baskets full left over. (After feeding 5,000 + people!)

The disciples were frustrated with all the people that would need something to eat. Unfortunately, there was no fast food restaurant nearby. They were concerned. So, they went to Jesus to tell Him the problem (because maybe they thought He didn’t realize the problem. 🙂 All they had was a little boy’s lunch. They had their own ideas what needed to be done, but Jesus had a different plan. That is where Matthew 14:16 comes into the picture.)

Blessing and breaking

Jesus had taken the 5 loaves and 2 fish that the disciples had brought him. He then looked up to Heaven, blessed the food and broke it into pieces and gave all of it to the disciples to distribute to the MULTITUDES. (Do you ever wonder what they were thinking right then?? I do! Kinda funny to think about!) So, back to our story…They gave Him what they had. He multiplied it, but THEY had to “give them something to eat.” THEY had to distribute what God had multiplied. (Reminds me of a poem by Annie Johnson Flint “Hands and Feet for Jesus”.)

They ate what had been multiplied and were FILLED. No more hunger. Filled. Filled with what was first given to Jesus and blessed by Him. FILLED…with much more left over than they even started with. Twelve baskets full LEFT OVER!!! (Here’s where I have been stopping to talk to Jesus a minute. Will you join me?)

Thank You, Lord, for the LITTLE I have to offer. Thank You, that when I give it up to You for Your purposes, You will multiple it to meet the need…and sometimes with some left over. You multiple my LITTLE for others’ sake! Not to hoard, but to give out…to the multitude!

Resting and chewing

I seriously have been resting on this story for days! There is so much there to “chew on”. (Sorry…I couldn’t help myself there!)

After the Offering

Then, after all were fed, Jesus sent them all away—even the disciples—and then He went away—alone—to pray.

He prayed MANY hours. It is stunning that He went away alone. He didn’t “work” the crowd. He didn’t seek glory, attention, or honor or praise for all He had done. Rather, He went to talk with His Father…to spend time alone with His Father. He had merely been doing what He was created to do.

They still didn’t “get it”. Nor does Peter, the Otter personality.

Even after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the disciples still didn’t “get it”…which they prove by their reactions while in the boat, without Jesus,  experiencing a storm with strong wind. Note they all were very fearful. Even Peter. Let’s call this the “Peter walking on the water” story.

Peter was different than the others. You know Peter. He often spoke whatever came to his mind, and often acted impulsively. Peter was an Otter personality type (Leading From Your Strengths).  He liked to be right in the middle of the action. The party doesn’t start until the Otter arrives! They are FUN!

Without thinking it through, Peter couldn’t wait for Jesus to come into the boat with them. He wouldn’t wait! So, he  stepped out of the boat. And, he was actually safe UNTIL he took his eyes off Jesus and onto the stormy seas.

Typically, Otters love adventure, new things, and get excited about every new opportunity.  They don’t have to think about it. OF COURSE NOT! After all, what could go wrong, right? 😉

They want what they want NOW. They don’t like to wait. It is not surprising Peter did not evaluate the options before flinging himself into the middle of the action. So he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. BUT when he took his eyes off Jesus and onto the turbulent water, he began to sink! And then he cried out for help. Then he reached out his hand to grab ahold of Jesus. And Jesus saved him. He did not drown. And they got in the boat together.

(Otters are wonderful adventurers, but often bite off more than they can chew, and right smack dab in the middle of their adventure, they just might need some assistance. And then, they let you take over because they are on to the next adventure. You can’t keep a good Otter down.)

And now the storm is past and all was well…

UNTIL the next time Peter and friends forget what they have learned from the provision of the loaves and fishes and on the stormy sea…

What Do I Have to Offer?

Are you like me?

I think there’s an obvious reason why God impressed on me to call my business Loaves and Fishes Coaching., so many years ago. I have always loved this story. And that theme of the loaves and fishes is on my mind often:

What do I have to offer? Am I willing? Do I trust GOD to do with it as He sees fit? It is a timeless principle. A theme that I have to keep re-learning. I have to ask myself. Do *I* REALLY “get it”???

What about you?

Do you have to keep re-learning things about Jesus’ trustworthiness that you thought you already knew?

Can you honestly answer the question, “What do I have to offer?”

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

Pamela Taylor invites you to join her in this interactive acrostic devotional journal designed to draw you into the extremely personal and abundant love God has waiting for you. Experience the "Just ask..." of His love for you!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love from A-Z by Pamela A. Taylor

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


The Rewards of Training Faithfully

Run Your Race

“In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win.” ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24 TLB

Marathon-ers are a dedicated bunch

They train faithfully, in all kinds of weather—always with that focused attention to detail that produces winners. Some hire coaches to help them train, stay focused on the goal, and endure to the end. Coaches are encouragers, but sometimes they are tough and tell you what you don’t want to hear, in order to help you be the best you can be, because they believe in your potential.

Marathon running

It can be grueling before, during, and after the event. One friend actually lost a toe as a result of being determined to finish the race. She persevered in spite of the pain. Maybe even because of it. She had worked so hard to get to this point. She simply could not give up! Would not give up!

Water stations

The water stations along the way are an oasis. Along with the refreshment of the water, they are also a place to receive encouragement to persevere from friends, family, and your coach. People cheer the runners on at these refreshment stations. It is critical to be reminded of the goal to finish.

Related Post: Marathon Running

Run Your Race

Isaiah 40:29-31

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength…But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength…
They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Time on this earth

As followers of Christ being “earth-bound” can seem like training for a marathon. It is critical to keep focused toward the goal. Like running coaches for the marathon runner, Christian Life Coaches help Christ-followers to hold their focus toward their goals: “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14). Paul also said in that same verse: “…but one thing I do…”

Is that the one thing we do?

Do we earth-bound humans press on with our eye toward the goal of spending eternity with Jesus? Is that our joy and focus? Do we love Him enough to go through what is sometimes the loneliness that accompanies grueling training before, during, and after the event of “going home to be with the Lord”? Are we willing to lose a toe—or worse—in the process? Or are we distracted toward the worldly prizes more than the heavenly ONE? Do we try to take shortcuts because the training is so hard?!

Are You Running Your Race?

Today is a new day!

Let’s keep cheering one another on. This is a great day for a fresh start with a fresh perspective. Which marathon are YOU running? And which prize do you most value?

I’d love to hear from you.

Have you done any marathon running? How have you found it to compare to the walk of a disciple of Christ? Would you like a coach to cheer you on and help you stay focused?

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

Pamela Taylor invites you to join her in this interactive acrostic devotional journal designed to draw you into the extremely personal and abundant love God has waiting for you. Experience the "Just ask..." of His love for you!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love from A-Z by Pamela A. Taylor

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


God Loves “Face Time” With You

Boy talking on phone
Yesterday, I consulted with my homeopath, using social media “Face time.” She wants to do “Face time” so she can see me. To see my demeanor; to watch my reactions, etc. All that is part of the process toward healing. We routinely meet every couple months or so on social media. I explain all my concerns and she records them in my file, and then prescribes a remedy. It is a liquid that she mixes up for me and I take it regularly, 3 times per week. Every person is different. A homeopath has to be attentive to details and the uniqueness of each client.

Similarities

This morning, I saw a correlation to our devotions…our set-aside-times with our attentive-to-details God. Just think, if a homeopath has regular times to help clients stay healthy, then certainly, we need regular times with God—talking as He is listening and asking questions to make us think deeper. To get to the root of the malady. However, meeting with God only every couple of months, would not be very good for relationship building. And reading the Scriptures and praying (the remedy) only 3 times a week, would not be adequate to maintain a spirit-filled life. So, the comparison is a bit lame, but still can be helpful if it makes us think about God more deeply, causing us to want even more time with Him.

God is a good listener

God wants more face time with each of us. He never tires of hearing from us. He loves seeing our face lifted up to Him in adoration, or in pleading for help. WHATEVER we say or do, He is like a doting parent wanting to be a part of all that matters to us. Whatever concerns you, concerns your God. He desires a very personal and intimate relationship. Hold nothing back. He knows it all, anyway. He will help you sort it all out if you trust Him. THAT is a big “if”…IF you will trust Him…

“Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him, God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

Psalm 62: 8 (NKJV)

Undistracted devotion

But God is also a jealous God. He wants our affections to be towards Him and not towards other gods of our own making. He wants to be our FIRST LOVE and our deepest love.

“Delight yourself in the LORD,…”

Psalm 37:4a (NKJV)

Undistracted time

Our Father wants us to give Him focused time. Multi-tasking does NOT impress the Creator God. When we stray, He kinda grabs us by the scruff of our neck, (through circumstances) to get our attention back on Him and on what really matters.

Focus

“You can’t focus on everything. We must focus on the things that matter most.”

“Slow down a little, and let God get into your world.”…

— Dutch Sheets

Priorities

Life can be hard and we continually have needs. I’m thinking of friends that are going through some trying times lately.

  • One friend has suffered from debilitating headaches for almost 4 years. Finally, this week, she found a specialist that had the solution.
  • Another friend has had multiple challenges. First bright lights in her eye, then her heart acted up, and then when she was outside soaking up vitamin D in a lawn chair in her yard, the chair collapsed and she hit her tail bone! She is in pain. She is still seeking solutions.
  • Another friend tripped on a step, and hit her head and split her lip, and banged up her knee. She was at her son’s home where she could get immediate help for her banged up body. She is better today.
  • Another friend spent last week in Hospice with her dear Father. She was at the hospital when he passed into eternity. And her daughter gets married this weekend. AND she needs to find a dress. This week will be full of lots of conflicting emotions. She knows God is with her through it all.

Stuff happens…

And it is horrible going through it; and it either makes us bitter or better. If you are like my friends, these trials have made them better and yours will for you too, if each of us allows our hard times to cause us to stop long enough to choose to spend more “face” time with our FATHER GOD, the fixer-upper, the Comforter, the Healer, the really good listener. It all pulls us back to our Anchor, the Lord; and we are reminded AGAIN that time with Him brings peace, joy, healing, comfort and anything else we need. He promises to meet our daily needs…(NOT our daily wants )

“God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God. Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy;…”

Psalm 61: 11, 12a

Will you join me to pray this prayer?

Father God, thank You for sending Jesus, so that I can have a personal relationship with You, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for daily reminding me to make the time with You as the first priority of my day before I go out into the world. Give me Your wisdom to obey Your promptings as I go throughout my day. May I bring You joy as I seek more and more “Face” time with you each day.

“Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul will be satisfied…my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.”

— Psalm 63:3-4 (NKJV)

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

Pamela Taylor invites you to join her in this interactive acrostic devotional journal designed to draw you into the extremely personal and abundant love God has waiting for you. Experience the "Just ask..." of His love for you!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love from A-Z by Pamela A. Taylor

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com