Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Seafood Sermon

One of the duties I enjoy in parenting my children is the having the privilege to share the word of God with them. With Dylan it is soooo easy because he LOVES a good story! He will often come up with a scenario and ask one of us to come up with a story to go along with it…on the fly! So it is no surprise that any Bible story captures his attention (and I am praying his heart too!). Each week we get out his "Cubby" book and learn his lesson for the following AWANA session. It is one of the highlights of both of our weeks! This week's lesson was on The Five Loaves and Two Fishes. I wasn't sure how this one would go over, seeing as he has heard it many times before…but by me utilizing hand gestures and props his attention span was great! I kid myself if I say that those lessons are only for him, because so many times the Lord speaks to me through those simple lessons. This time as I read our passage my mind focused on the interaction between Philip and Jesus. The Scripture says that Jesus tested Philip by asking him "Where are we going to get enough bread for all these people?" Now, there is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was sincerely panicked about where the sustenance would come from; the Bible says He already knew what He was going to do. Today as I read that story again I speculated that Jesus asked Philip that question because He had already looked into Phillips heart and had seen what was going on inside. I imagine Philip experiencing inner turmoil about exactly how they are going to feed all those people. Having been gifted with leadership talents and maybe a desire to provide physically for those under him, his internal struggle would have been quickly recognized by Him who sees the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Philip's answer expressed the condition of his heart. Not even 8 months wages, 200 denari, would be enough to offer each person a bite! In other words, this task seems impossible, this problem insurmountable. Perfect! Now Jesus had Philip exactly where he wanted him…at the corner of hopeless and hungry. Isn't it always in the darkest hour that any amount of light seems brightest? The stage was now set for Jesus to work one of His most beloved miracles: feeding the 5,000 men (plus untold numbers of women and children) with leftovers! Every stay-at-home-mom's favorite!! It was in the truth of this moment that the Lord spoke to my heart. "Jennifer, how are you going to get through this upcoming deployment?" "Where will you get enough 'bread' to sustain you and your family these long months?" Talk about judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart! How many times has the Lord 'heard' me ask myself that question? Well, what could my answer be in light of what I had heard from Philip's lips? I had to come to that same intersection with Peter, the place where I can say without shame or fear, "I don't know. Only You, God. The stage is set. Please, work Your miracle in me."

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