In reading this week’s verses, I began to see something that I have seen in the past, but never really paid attention to it as I have this week. As I go through these passages I am learning to go through them more intentionally. In Exodus chapters 3-4 we see Moses called to something that was way above his experience. In Luke, Peter is asked to repeat what he has been doing all night, casting the net over the boat to catch what he, an experienced fisherman, knew he could not catch. In James chapter 4 we are told that we cannot bring anything into existence on our own. Matthew tells us to “Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it will be opened.” Then James says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your own passions.” Then in Luke he again tells a parable and in this parable, he teaches them to not lose hope.
As I went through these verses I asked myself, “How can one not lose hope in these difficult and trying times?” How could Moses feel adequate, knowing he was not equipped. Obviously, in retrospect, I now see that he was equipped, through God, but like us now, he too could not see what God had planned. Then, Peter, after fishing all night to no avail is told to cast the net again. I can picture him being tired, frustrated, and ticked off, yet he does it. Probably with the mentality that, “He will see what I mean.” Yet, Peter is the one who saw, and not just a small thing either. He saw the Lord provide undoubtedly more fish than Peter had ever caught in his life. Then he is told to leave it all and follow Christ. “What!” This is insane, I told myself. “Who would leave all of that?” Now James tells us we cannot bring anything into existence, but Christ can as we just witnessed with Peter. Matthew then steps in and says “Ask and you shall receive. Are you seeing it? Here we are seeing a story and it is unfolding. Then we are told that we don’t receive because we ask wrongly. “What!” Then in the parable, Jesus tells us “Do not lose hope.”
I like Moses, cannot speak eloquently, but God gives me the words I need, like Peter, I have been working hard at the ministry He has called me in, to no avail, because I have been beating against the wind with my own strength rather than trusting in Him fully. I am now aware that I cannot do it alone. Something I have known for a long time but have been fighting against it. I cannot live out my calling without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Something I know mentally, but have not been living it out. I am learning that I need to ask, I get to ask, and He will provide. I am not alone and don’t need to feel as though I am. He reminds me to not lose hope but to rest in Him. In Romans 8:26 I am told, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Then Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” I can go on and on, on how these passages have helped me see that I am not alone and that Christ has sent me a comforter who will help me in all that I need to do. I know that He has called me like He called Moses, Peter, and the rest. I know that I am exactly where He wants me. Only He could have brought me this far and it is He who will take me forward. Just as Daniel was protected from the Lion’s mouth, Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego were protected from the furnace and countless other stories where the Lord has interceded for the believer, I am in good hands. I am in the I AM’S hands. He is my sustainer and I need not worry for He will provide all I need. Knowing now what I know, it will help me to be better able to speak with others who don’t know Christ. Knowing this, I will be able to better speak with potential donors, and explain to them the assurance of my call in Christ. When others ask me why I have this faith I can tell them without a doubt. I am saved by Christ and that is a huge blessing. To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen!
Grace & Peace,