Thursday, November 19, 2009

"When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."

He replied, "You give them something to eat."

They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd." (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over." Luke 9: 10-17

Being a mommy is the hardest job I've ever had. The most rewarding... but definitely the hardest... I need constant wisdom that I don't have, and patience that I don't have. This job brings me to my knees faster than anything else could, I think. Today I've felt overwhelmed, thinking about Seth's tender heart and his recent interest in Jesus, and in my pathetic inability to show him the glory of Christ.

But part of my CBS study today was on Luke 8, the feedings of the 5,000. See, the disciples go to Jesus, and they tell him that the people need to leave and get food. And he says to them, "Why don't you get them something to eat?" Whoa, Nelly. See, now he's just placed a huge responsibility on their shoulders, one they can't possibly fulfill on their own. I understand the burden.

So they come up with a half baked solution, going to buy some food for all the thousands. Never mind that they have no money; they're trying to come up with something. They're probably feeling a little desperate. Been there, felt that.

Jesus then gives them something to do. It's something small, but it's a start. He asks them to seat the people in groups of 50. It's manageable, it's a first step, but they don't know what's going to happen next. They just go and do, and then they wait and see.

And then Jesus does the rest. He breaks the bread and fish, and he prays, and a miracle happens. He's doing the real heavy lifting, the only things that really make a difference. They just have to take the first step with him.

That's how I feel about raising my boys to love and serve Christ in the midst of the frustration and chaos and spiritual lukewarmness that I sometimes feel. I know my pitiful inability to raise them to love Christ. I know it all too well. I feel like he's asked me to make food out of thin air for a stadium full of hungry people.

But he just asks me to get started. Read the Bible stories. Sing the songs. Pray with Seth for patience and kindness and help when he's losing his temper. Just do it, even if your mind is on the mess you want to be cleaning up, even though it shouldn't be. And He'll do the real miracle.

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