Monday, May 9, 2011

Sitting and Receiving

How’s your quiet time going? An intimidating question, isn’t it?

Early this spring, I have to admit, mine wasn’t going well at all. Between juggling the needs of my children, Women’s Ministry, my husband’s business, and caring for my mother as she battled a serious illness, I often skipped my quiet time all together. Some mornings, I quickly read through a Proverb, but I felt like I had just gone through the motions with no real connection to God.

After about a month of arrow prayers as I rushed from one task to the next, I broke down in tears before the Lord. I missed my connection with Him. I was exhausted and weary and in desperate need of unstructured time with God. I finally put my to-do list aside and I just opened His Word and started slowly reading. I longed to connect with God and sense His presence. I was hungry for His Word and thirsty for His Spirit. As I read, I came across the story of Jesus feeding five thousand (John 6) and I noticed something unique about John’s description of the event.

After Andrew (Peter’s brother) pointed out that there was a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, Jesus said,

Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish (John 6:10-11).

Jesus told the people to sit down. About five thousand sat down on that grassy mountainside, waiting with anticipation to receive what Jesus had for them. And Jesus distributed to those who were seated. As I read and re-read the words, “to those who were seated,” it occurred to me that some of the people on that mountainside chose not to sit down. If you are familiar with the amazing event, you know those five loaves of bread and two fish miraculously fed everyone who was seated with twelve baskets of leftovers to spare.

I asked God why some of the people on that mountainside would choose not to sit down and receive the sustenance that Jesus was offering them. I felt God’s tender conviction wash over me. I realized that I had been just like those men who chose to remain standing or decided they weren’t hungry. I was just like some of them who, perhaps, chose to return to their homes to prepare for the Passover Feast that was quickly approaching. I had been so busy serving and meeting needs, I hadn’t taken time to sit and receive the spiritual food Jesus had for me that would have sustained me and strengthened me and ministered to my weary soul.

Let me ask you again. How’s your quiet time going?

Are you taking time to sit and receive all that Jesus has for you? Believe me, I understand life can get busy. I recongize the demands of your schedule can make setting aside time with our Lord seem difficult. But like me, you cannot effectively minister to others if you do not take the time to sit and receive what Jesus alone can give you. He has more than enough to sustain you with baskets full to spare.

Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).
I’d love to read your comments. And if you haven’t been sitting and receiving for awhile, I’d welcome the opportunity to pray for you. I’ve been there, my friend.

Mindy Ferguson
Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.

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