Wandering

Last weekend, Eric (my husband), took me for my second ride on my dual sport motorcycle. (My first experience riding is posted under Driving Knowledge.) This time I drove down a gravel road.

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My boys are better riders than I am. . . . But I’m getting off track.

  And that was my riding problem. I found my bike dancing on parts of the gravel, unsure of which track to take at times. Eric calls it wandering. (Don’t worry, Mom, I didn’t crash. I just felt like I might.)

I learned the following tips when caught wandering:

  • Don’t fight the bike as it moves. Speeding up helps. (I kept slowing down, which made it worse.)
  • Pick your riding line, (more compacted car tracks), in the distance and follow it. (I wanted to look down.)
  • Keep your arms relaxed, but firm. Don’t over-correct steering. (Pliers might release my grip from the handlebars!)
  • Transfer weight to the foot pegs, like you’re going to stand up. (My position? Hunched forward; tight.)
  • Lastly, don’t over-think it. (What does that mean?!)

Sounds like an accident waiting to happen? I know . . . but don’t worry, I won’t be riding near you—at least not on purpose.

IMG_0446_1_1If the following spiritual analogy wanders a bit from my motorcycle 101 lesson, I’ll be on track with my theme, right?

Peter’s Wandering

After Jesus fed the 5,000 plus people on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, He sent His disciples ahead of Him by boat across the lake so He could spend some time alone in prayer (Matthew 14:22-32). Several hours later, the disciples found themselves caught in a storm and tossed about by large waves.

It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.  – Matthew 14:26, NIV

           Jesus said: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  – vs. 27

 You know the rest of the story. Peter said:

          “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

I imagine Peter experienced a fair amount of wandering as he got out of the boat and walked toward Jesus on the water.

But to his credit, he got out of the boat.

Look to Jesus

When Peter’s vision transferred from Jesus to the surrounding high waves, he panicked and began to sink.

But to his credit, he reached out to Christ, the only One who could help.

Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ He said, ‘why did you doubt?’”  -vs.31

When we become serious about following Christ and join Him in His kingdom work, we will eventually run into some rough places. Although the disciples lost sight of Jesus, He did not lose sight of them. Recognizing Jesus’ presence is the cure to fear.

When we find ourselves wandering, let’s look to Jesus–not our inadequacies–or we may also despair and sink.

Bread, Anyone?

When God calls His children to follow and serve, He often tests and stretches our faith.

(This post article is also posted in the Gospel Blog by FEBC at http://bit.ly/123dYn7.)

Evaristo Baschenis - Boy with a Basket of Brea...

Evaristo Baschenis – Boy with a Basket of Bread – WGA1404 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee, a great crowd followed Him because of His miraculous signs.

“Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with His disciples. . . .When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, he said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do.”                                                                             – John 6:3, 5-6 (NIV)

Knowing there was no human solution, Jesus highlighted the miraculous act He was about to perform.

Philip answered Him, ‘Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”   – vs.7

Enter Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother:

Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”            – vs. 9

Can’t you see, Jesus? We don’t have enough!

Wait. . . . . Rewind. Didn’t the disciples just witness Jesus’ miracles, healing sick people? (John 6:1-2)

Incredible!

And yet, how many times does my faith waver, as I take stock of my own limited resources when facing seemingly impossible circumstances?

Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ . . . . The men sat down, about 5,000 of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.”  – vs. 10-11

After they were stuffed, Jesus told his disciples to gather the left overs—twelve full baskets!

Jesus wanted to teach Philip that financial resources are not the most important ones. The disciples most likely had more resources than the boy, but their reasoning probably kept them from giving. In contrast, God used what little the boy gave, and turned it into something spectacular.

I love that God not only abundantly gives, but also uses what we offer Him—resources, time, ability—and multiplies its effectiveness beyond our wildest dreams. Age is also no barrier to Christ.

Is there some impossible task you believe God wants you to do? Don’t let your analysis keep you from taking it. If you take the first step in making yourself available to God, He will not only meet you, but also greatly use you to further His kingdom.

Where God guides, He provides.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  – Proverbs 3:5-6