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Walk. Sink. Cry Out. Reach Out. Grab Ahold.

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,
pam_signature-c49a6c

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


A Willing Heart

A Willing Heart

Mary, Mother of Jesus

“We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”

–1 Thessalonians 2:4

Mary’s life never robbed Jesus of His glory.

Her mission was to witness the Glory of the Son of God. She was a woman of courage and character. A poor girl in an insignificant town, from a humble family with little expectation her life would be different than most. Then, angel Gabriel came to Mary. (see Luke 1:38)

Why did God choose Mary?

I’ve been studying the Scriptures about Mary the last few days. And with my knowledge of the Leading From Your Strengths characteristic & personality strengths, I think I know WHY God deliberately chose this Golden Retriever type of personality, because of the particular situations she would need to endure in her adventure as the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Seeking approval

Mary sought approval from the One that matters most. Seeking God’s approval means turning FROM the desire for the applause of others. She went against social and cultural norms. She trusted God would not let her down. As she yielded to the purposes of God in and through her, she was able to anticipate the approval of the One who matters most without fear of public outcry or condemnation.

Mary surrendered to God’s plan

She was able through the power of the Spirit, by CHOOSING to be willing to lose all that defined her,  in order to become who God had CHOSEN her to be. He wants that for all of us.

What can we learn from Mary?

I’m not a scholar, and I’m not Jewish, but, I believe that when Mary, an innocent VIRGIN, courageously told Joseph, her beloved betrothed love of her life, that she was pregnant,  she knew that he KNEW it was not HIS baby she was carrying. The penalty for adulterous betrayal was death by stoning. BOTH their lives actually were in peril in that culture.

She gave her life & reputation to God

When angel Gabriel gave Mary God’s message, Mary answered, “May it be to me as you have said” (See Luke 1).  She had responded with a willing heart, ready to do whatever the Lord asked of her. Praise God for her response, which played a part in the blessing you and I have in Jesus.” (Anchor Devo December 2019)

The angel called her highly favored

He said to her, “Do not be afraid.” Angels aren’t sweet & pretty with flowing robes that flutter into your life to bless you. Rather, they are fierce looking warriors. Why else would their first words (whenever they appear to people) are some variation of FEAR NOT.

So you might think Mary was different than you or me

You might think you could never do what she did, yet I’m pretty certain that you would obey whatever an angel told you YOU to do, too. Her first response was a question, asking how it could be that she would bear the Christ Child, since she was a virgin. (Luke 1:34) And she most certainly had intended to stay that way before her marriage with Joseph. He also told her that her barren Aunt Elizabeth was now “with child”. Her next response was one of surrender and trust.  With a willing heart, accepting the consequences. “I am your servant. May it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) The angel left her.

Aunt Elizabeth is 6 months along

Mary went to see her aunt Elizabeth. Upon hearing Mary’s greeting, baby John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb. And Elizabeth gave Mary an important affirmation. Any Golden Retriever personality’s indecision or concern would have melted away when Elizabeth said, “Why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me.” (Luke 1:43) Mary stayed 3 months, until John was about to be born. Golden Retrievers are people people. They are loyal. They are “let’s do this together” people.

Fear

Goldens greatest fear is loss of security and they don’t like change. From others, they want sincere appreciation and harmony. When stressed, Goldens can be indecisive and unenthusiastic, so you can see why God gave her so many clear affirmations. God knew she would need them in all the future trials and testings she would endure.

So, as each affirmation came,

“Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

  • The Angel Gabriel’s visitation to Mary to tell her of God’s plan and to tell her not to fear
  • The Angel also spoke to Joseph to tell him that Mary was still a virgin and that he also was chosen to marry Mary and to care for her and Jesus
  • The Shepherds in the stable immediately after His birth
  • Both Simeon and Anna affirmed who He was, when Jesus was taken to the temple for his purification
  • The Wise Men when he was a bit older and in the house with his parents

Courage

She had been told that she was the woman with whom God entrusted His Son. Her heart had responded with praise and joyous song (see the Magnificat in Luke 2).

As we think about her courage, let’s think about the the time she rebuked her 12 year old son (JESUS) for staying behind in the temple. Think about the wedding in Cana where adult JESUS did his first (and non-public) miracle. She had courageously pressed Him to make water into wine. Think of the time that Mary took her other children to try to get JESUS to come home because there was so much demand on Him. She was concerned about him. Because she truly cared about the people in her sphere of influence. Let’s look at some general Golden Retriever characteristics and see if they fit Mary’s personality characteristics based on what we know from Scripture about this amazing woman:

  • Patient & Willing
  • Caring & Thoughtful
  • Steadiness
  • People person
  • Let’s do this together
  • Loyal & Nurturing
  • Tolerant
  • Slower Starting
  • Quiet & Reserved
  • Other-centered

Golden Retriever personality types deal in the PRESENT.

Their focus is on what is happening right now in front of them. You can definitely see that in Mary. When someone is hurting and needing a friend, or water made into wine at a wedding, the Golden Retriever is joyfully there! They have a caring heart and listen carefully and attentively to others (including angels 🙂 ). They are always loyal and faithful to friends and family. However, if there is tension, they want to withdraw.

Mary’s willing heart

Mary was a person of discipleship, with a willing heart, and great faith. The first true follower of Jesus. Her calling was great joy in motherhood, but required tremendous suffering. The worst was watching her son on the Cross in such unspeakable agony–knowing He had come to do just that. For you. For me. And for Mary. She knew how costly her submission would be, yet she CHOSE to SUBMIT to GOD’S plan. For that, we can ALL be grateful!

God bless you bunches!

Until Next Time,

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

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