Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Invest (part I)

In his book Divine Fingerprint, author and pastor Keith Craft writes about the miracle of loaves and fishes that took place during the sermon on the mount. His interesting take on the story regards who the hero is. Sure, the disciples start the conversation and point out the problem.
The disciples came to him and said "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food"  -Matthew 14:15

and Jesus (of course) thanks God and performs the miracle…
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples  -Mark 6:41

but in John 6:8 is where Craft finds the hero.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.

“There is a boy here.”

We don’t even know his name, but a boy, one of the multitude that had come to see Jesus, had with him five loaves and two fish. When asked, he gave all he had to God, in the person of the Son, so that a miracle could happen. God steps in to perform miracles only when what needs to happen is beyond our reach, our ability, our strength. That means we have to have exhausted our human potential towards a goal and be open to God’s will. We must give all we have, in this case, to our marriage. When we do, then we become eligible for the miraculous.

I’ve heard marriage described as something that is “built” with talk of strong foundations, but perhaps it is more like something that is grown. It must be cultivated, watered, cared for and fed if it is to flourish. These activities are most effective when undertaken daily, and by both parties. Husband and wife must both bring all they have to the process, since both will bring different qualities, different skills, different gifts. It is very easy in this day and age to take your marriage for granted. Life is hectic, everyone is busy, a multitude of other activities and responsibilities - work, school, kids, church - are constantly clamoring for your attention. It can be tempting to think that since you are already married, loving your spouse can slip down on the list of priorities. Nothing could be further from the truth! That would not be giving all we have.

When that happens, the union can live up to its potential, can be a picture of God’s love for the world. A marriage thus nurtured becomes healthy and thriving, it will bear fruit; it will be a place where miracles happen.

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