"But Jesus said, 'You feed them.'" Luke 9:13a (NLT)
Each Wednesday, a few women come through my door. They bring with them stories of past addiction, abuse, childhood dysfunction, and second and third chances.
They also bring friendship. Laughter. Honesty. A heart for more.
One week we went around the kitchen table and shared five things that described us. Not five things from the past, or five things we see in the mirror. But five things that described who we are as changed, Jesus-filled women of faith.
When it was my turn, I shared three of my five things: I am kind. I am loved by God. I am an adventurer ...
As I listed number three, I also casually mentioned how one day I'd love to jump out of a plane. Before I could move on, the conversation erupted.
Jump out of a plane? Why? That's crazy!
Our study took a quick detour. After several minutes, I realized our discussion had taken a God-turn as these women began sharing their deepest fears, such as: taking a healthy risk within a relationship; believing they were capable to lead others; going on a mission trip (which requires flying). Even riding a ride at an amusement park.
Events and people from their past had convinced most of these women they were not intended to live adventurously, but rather to be limited by their past and fears. Did Jesus' disciples feel that way too?
In Luke 9, the disciples approached Jesus with a big problem. The crowd was massive. They were in an isolated area, and there was no food.
The disciples wanted the people sent away.
Instead, Jesus turned to them and said, "You feed them."
It made perfect sense for the disciples to ask Jesus to send the crowd away. In the natural, there simply wasn't enough food. In the natural, they were accustomed to Jesus taking charge. In the natural, they were faced with a crowd of 5,000 men accompanied by women and children, bringing the total to more than 20,000 people.
"You feed them" was a call to step out of the natural and into the supernatural. It was a jump-out-of-the-airplane faith moment.
Jesus wasn't asking them to do it in their own power. John 15:5b says, "apart from me you can do nothing" (NIV). Jesus was letting them know He was prepared to do a lot with the little they had to offer.
I asked the women in my home what it might look like if they were to respond to Jesus' call to adventure.
One said she'd ride rides with me if we went to an amusement park.
Another expressed she was willing to open her heart to loving others, even if they were still a work in progress.
Another, who has never been on an airplane and is scared of them, is a recovering addict who desires nothing more than to tell others about Jesus. She said, "I would be afraid, but if God told me to go on a mission trip, I'd get on an airplane because my God would be there with me."
I wanted to dance in joy! Something significant was taking place. For no matter how small the adventures might seem to others, God could do big things with each of us.
Have the words of others or your past put limitations on you?
Have they caused you to fear, or to think that Jesus can't use you because of your story?
Does it seem too hard, or too big?
"You do it."
That's Jesus, putting His vote of confidence in you, knowing He can supply all your needs.
It's a call to move from walking in the natural to believing in the supernatural. To learn things about yourself that God has known all along, and to watch the miracle of faith unfold in your heart.
Father, thank You for seeing beyond my fears, beyond my broken places, to the real me underneath. You see a strong woman of faith and a trusting child of God. Today, I trust that I can do all things through You, and with Your help. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: Ephesians 3:20, "Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." (NLT)
Isaiah 43:18, "Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new." (MSG)
REFLECT AND RESPOND: Write down five things that describe you as a woman of faith, separate from your past or the negative words of others.
Take those words and hold them up in prayer. Ask God what He can do with what you have to offer.
© 2014 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org