Monday, September 17, 2012

YOU Are Not Enough!

About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them, "I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.”

His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?”

Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”

“Seven loaves,” they replied.

So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to his disciples, who distributed the bread to the crowd.  A few small fish were found, too, so Jesus also blessed these and told the disciples to distribute them.

They ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food.  There were about 4,000 people in the crowd that day, and Jesus sent them home after they had eaten.
~ Mark 8:1-9, NLT ~

In hindsight, it's easy to read the Gospel accounts and shake our heads at the disciples.  How could they be such fools as they walked side-by-side with the Savior of the Universe?  There's so much they seemed to miss as Jesus stood right there in their presence.  Despite all the miracles they witnessed, every new crisis left them in the type of panic as if they had witnessed none.  It's easy to look at this sort of behavior in the Bible and scoff.

Yet, here we are, thousands of years later with the insight of knowing how the story ends, no better than these intimate followers of our Lord.  I would suggest that we parents of children with challenges have much to learn from the Gospel passage in Mark 8:1-9.  First, I want to point out that too often we, like the disciples, think that when God calls us to do something we should be able to do it on our own.  I am no less guilty of this than the next parent.  I would be a rich woman if I listed every time I was like the disciples in thinking that I don't have enough for what the situation at hand demands.  The irony is that when I think this, I am right.  None of us are enough.  You are not enough.  I am not enough.  Only the One who calls us to obedient service has what is required to satisfy the situation at hand.  We should take note that only when the disciples turned to Jesus could the mission be accomplished.  If we want to succeed in whatever the demand with our children may be, we must do the same.

Another lesson we can learn from this Gospel passage is that we serve a compassionate God.  He cares about our smallest concerns.  How sweet is it that Jesus cared about his listeners growing weary on their trek home?  If He cared for these, will He not also care for us and our children?  If He cared about food enough to get the crowd from his preaching venue to their homes, there is no doubt He cares for even more serious issues like our children's health, well-being in school, social difficulties, therapies, finances, and what sort of future our children may have.  In the face of concern, we should follow His example of thanking the Father for what we have, and moving forward in trust.

Parents, with our children's diagnoses, we carry God-sized issues on our shoulders.  But we were never meant to face these issues on our own.  In our imperfect human love, and with our other imperfect human resources, we are not enough.  What a relief to know that the Savior we follow IS enough for anything we face!  Stop burning yourself out, frustrating yourself and everyone around you by attempting to be the super-human that you can never be.  Trust His hand and watch Him carry you through today.

PRAY:  Jehovah Jireh, you provide enough for each new day.  Calm my anxious heart.  Wake me up to the fact that I am not enough.  Increase my trust in You.  Thank You for all You have given me.

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