Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.” Genesis 43:18
Now to personalize it a bit…. I was frightened and thought… they want to attack me and over power me and seize me and take my ———-! (Unless you own a donkey you can fill in that last blank with some other position or possession.) Now lets fast forward to verse 24… reality. The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. Hmmm… can anyone else relate to worrying or fearing out of proportion?! In fact, I would do well to memorize verse 23, “It’s all right, ” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure…. The treasure of His presence, the great I AM for all you would ever, could ever need has promised to be with you ALWAYS!
This Sunday I attended church after a war with the curling iron. Now it’s not the first time I have attempted to wrestle with that beast (always hopeful for a win) and yes, it takes time and effort to complete the whole head of curls, so by the time I’m finished, and I realize my new look now resembles a severely aged and definitely not as cute Shirley Temple rather than the soft tussled beach curls the picture on the front of the curling iron box promised, I’m out of time and once again forced into public with this look!! However God brought about the sweetest message.
I was in the church kitchen and the pastors wife breezed by and in about 30 seconds sincerely complimented the curly helmet I was wearing and alluded to the time and effort it takes to produce curls in the morning. That’s when I thought I needed to get things into proportion. Taking eyes off self and sharing even a little of His love and kindness in just 30 seconds can really bring some perspective right! I was reminded to have eyes and a heart that look out and recognize and appreciate the time and effort someone puts in rather than just judge the product or outcome. Sometimes the bigger importance is the process… do I notice and appreciate others process, others time and efforts behind the end results that are so obvious to the world?
I believe the more we move into being “doers” of the Word rather than just hearers or even just being absently present, God creates in us a sensitivity to truly appreciate the efforts and process of others. To be salt and light to be encouragers of the process rather than just judgers of the final product.
This brings me to my second point or lesson I learned on Sunday (see how important it is not to miss a week!). Luke 5:1-11 starts with Jesus observation of not one but two boats at the waters edge. He got into the one belonging to Peter and ASKED him if he would be willing to push Him out into the water a bit. Now at that moment Peter had a choice to make as do we. It is possible to be present yet so absent that we do not hear Him ask us to join Him; anyone with children knows this is a real possibility… you KNOW they heard you but nothings happening right!! God is always on the move, if we are present and we do hear His call, how do we typically choose to respond? Do we blow excuses out of proportion, thinking of every reason why He can’t possibly be asking us? Thus cheating only ourselves out of the greatest adventure of life abundantly fulfilled in Him. OR do we respond, do we DO as He has asked? Peter did.
Maybe you knew this but it was news to me, that fishermen typically went out in groups of two. Makes sense, two are better than one. So when God asked Peter to come along side Him it was because He had TWO boat fulls of fisherman to whom He wanted to display His glory! Once Peter agreed to help they ALL had to help. I’m sure there was a fair amount of grumbling and a few “accidental” elbow drops thrown Peter’s way on the way out to sea… AGAIN. God’s plan will never be thwarted and so if He had in mind to show two boat fulls of fishermen His glory that night it was going to happen. So if Peter bowed out I believe he would have asked the guy in charge of boat number two to lead the way. Now I’ve lived long enough to know that yes, immediate regret comes after trying and failing however long term, there is more regret experienced over risks not taken. So way to go Peter for not blowing things too out of proportion… he was exhausted, grumpy over the nights ill success yet he didn’t bow out he bowed in… because God said so (verse 5).
Jesus, I want to bow in every time, use my boat, send me! I want to know and hear and listen AND obey. Please give me a heart with eyes that don’t just wait for my big moment but treat every moment like its the big moment… who knows offering 30 seconds of encouragement just passing in the church kitchen just might mean the world to someone.
Independent Read: Isaiah 6:8