Thursday, May 5, 2011

Don’t Do It Alone

Heavenly Father, I give thanks this morning for life, health, and strength.  I thank you Father for your mercy and grace.  I thank you Father, for being a God that we can make our requests known, and being assured that your will be done via our requests.  I pray Father that you continue to guide and protect us Father.  I pray a blessing on the readers and doers of your word.  I pray a special blessing on all who read your message today.  I pray that they are in the right mind to receive it, and will be in a better mind afterwards.  I pray a blessing on wherever they are, and you’re your Holy Spirit encamp around them.  I pray a blessing on their family and friends, and I pray for comfort in a time of hurt or distress.  We love and adore you, and pray that you forgive us of any sins committed whether, by thought, speech or deed.  Oh Father just have your way with us this morning.  We give you all the honor and glory and praise, and we pray in Jesus name.  Amen

In my early twenties, I worked for a moving company.   We were a team of about 16, and I and another fellow were the youngest.  They were in the business of moving celebrities.  We were hired to move Woody Allen.  This was a big job, and as being the youngest, my partner and I wanted to make an impression.  We were busting our behinds removing furniture quickly and with precision and each time we would glance at the owner and you can see a pleasing smile on his face.  We got to this huge couch, and by the look of it, you can tell it was expensive.  So we made sure we wrapped it carefully and began to remove it from the penthouse.  When we got to the opening of the door, we were unable to get it out.  The penthouse had at least 2 entrances so we were not holding up progress of the other movers.  As my partner and I was carefully fighting to get this couch out the door, the other movers would pass and sort of chuckle at us.  This of course made us angry, and made it out business to show them we are not the ones to laugh at.  We began to strategize and plan how we were going to remove, and every attempt we made, we failed.  The owner came by and began to sort of hover near us.  Every now and again, he would look over and also offer a chuckle.  This was not good.  I then made the decision to remove the door, and it was then that he came over.  He said “guys, removing the door is not necessary.  Just remove the legs.”  We were fighting with this couch for about 15 minutes, and once the legs were removed we went through the door in 2.  The owner said, “I know you guys want to impress me.  Ok, I am impressed, but what I also want to see are people who are willing to ask for help.”
When I look back at that story, I am reminded of the story regarding the disciples.  It was shortly after the Jesus fed 5000 people with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish.  The bible reads “ Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.  Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.  Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.  And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled, for they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” (Mark 6:45-52)
This is a story that should be looked at carefully.  Jesus just performed a miracle, which is probably one of the greatest miracles He performed.  He made something out of nothing.  His disciples were front row to this feat.  The scripture stated that after Jesus prayed, about the fourth watch he came to them.  A “watch” back then was intervals of 3 hours.  So for no more than 12 hours, his disciples were rowing against the sea.  Jesus was able to see all of this from the mountaintop.  This indicated that they did not get anywhere.  It is like taking hours to reach a destination which only takes 15 minutes.  The bible also said that he came to them walking on the sea and would have passed them by. Finally after thinking it was a ghost and after Jesus assured them it was Him, He went into the boat, the wind ceased and they were marveled.
What we need to gather from this, is that the disciples were so focused on their circumstance that they forgot the miracle that just took place hours before.  They forgot who their master was.  They were not compelled to call out to the Lord in a time of distress, and Jesus at one point was right before their eyes, and yet they did not see.  Family, some are you are the same.  You have experienced the wonders of Christ working miraculously in your life, and know it could have been no one but Him, yet you face another circumstance, and you try to get out of it on your own.  You try this or that, just as I did with the couch, instead of saying, “Lord, help me with this.”  We often soon forget the goodness of the Lord, and when we are struggling, and struggling, and struggling, we tell ourselves “the Lord is testing me.”  Not always!  Sometimes He is waiting for you to call on Him.  How many times, after the call is made, the issue is resolved just like that?  The question now is how much time could have been saved if you only call on him sooner?  Some may say, “Well, God did it that way specifically for me to go through it.” And here is my answer to that.  Rubbish!!!!  Practice becomes habit.  God does not want you to do it all alone.  If you do it one time, you will do it again, and then you may end up thinking that you have all the answers and that you are in control.  I beg to differ that God did it that way.
Family, God wants us to call on Him.  I am not speaking about the things that we can do and have the power to do.  I am talking about the things that no matter where we turn, there is an obstacle.  Now would be the time to find that quiet place and pray.  As I said, practice becomes habit.  When we make our requests known to God constantly, we are practicing good habits to be in constant communion with Him.  You do not have to do it alone.  God is there waiting.  Call on Him.  Amen!

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