Faith and Fitted Sheets – June 29, 2015

I have been married to my beautiful wife Penny now for over 33 years. Over this period of time she has been a wonderful mother, a loving wife, and for all of these years she has kept and made our home a wonderful place to live in. Our house is always clean, picked up and always smells so nice. Not because I have a lot to do with it, but because she is such a wonderful mother and wife and she is such a help even in our ministry, the least I can do every once in a while is “pitch in” at home.

A lot of jobs are so much easier if you’ve got two people working on them. One of those is the simple task of making a bed. Of course, this is the age of fitted sheets; the ones with the elastic on each corner. Pulling sheet corner number one over bed corner number one? That’s easy. So is corner number two. Corner number three requires just a little more pull, because you’ve already anchored two other corners. Now, the challenge is that fourth corner. You really have to stretch it to get that sheet over that final edge.

The more I thought about that, it caused me to think about faith and fitted sheets.

Yes, they do have something in common. First, let’s look at a series of events in the lives of Jesus’ first disciples. Mark chapter 6, they’re facing a hungry crowd of 5,000 people in a wilderness place where there’s no food. The disciples have an idea, “Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and buy themselves something to eat.” Okay, Jesus’ answer: “You give them something to eat.” What? What’s He doing?

He’s asking them to do with their faith what I do with that fitted sheet – try to stretch it to cover this challenge. The outcome? “They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.” I love it! A basket of leftovers for each one of the disciples.

Next they’re in a boat in a violent storm. And Jesus says in essence, “You saw Me feed 5,000 with one lunch. Can you stretch your faith to cover this corner, this storm?” Well, He calmed that storm with one command. Next comes a crowd of 4,000 that needs to be fed, and in spite of just seeing how Jesus can handle a challenge like this, they’re asking again, “Where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” Again, Jesus asked them to round up whatever miracle material they can.

Finally, our word for today from the Word of God after all that, Mark 8, beginning with verse 17. In a boat is where they are; they’re talking about having no bread. “Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts being hardened? And don’t you remember when I broke the five loaves for the 5,000 how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?'”

Well you know what? The pattern of those disciples is too often the faithless pattern in your life and mine. We face a challenge that’s clearly humanly impossible, and then Jesus does what only He can do. And we are amazed! We’re thankful! He does that to make our faith grow. Well, pretty soon there’s another challenge and we just can’t seem to stretch our faith to go that far. Over and over, the Lord puts in front of you “fourth corner” situations where the faith of yesterday is not going to be enough. You’ll have to trust Him for something bigger and greater. But why not? After all the “bigs” and “greats” you’ve seen Him do before, shouldn’t we be trusting Him?

Maybe you’re facing one of those overwhelming needs or situations or storms right now, and Jesus is saying, “Don’t you remember? I’m the same Lord that has done miracle after miracle in your life. Do you think it will be different this time?” We suddenly get spiritual amnesia; we forget the love, we forget the power of our Lord, we forget His track record. Or we seem to say, “Well, sure He could handle that one, but this one? This is huge!” So was that one; the one Jesus already handled so amazingly.

Maybe right now you’re living and experiencing unnecessary worry, unnecessary stress, and your response is fear, maybe panic. Jesus has covered every corner so far, and He will cover this one. So why not live as if you’re expecting Jesus to be Lord again now over this situation. Stretch your faith this time to reach farther than your faith has ever reached – to touch the power of your Lord as maybe you have never touched it before.

 

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ.”

Pastor Terry
Family Worship Center

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