Lord, Keep Our Hearts Soft and Willing to Understand!

by Elizabeth Burgard  Fulgaro (c) 2010

Most of us are familiar with the wonderful stories in Mark 6 of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes to feed 5,000 and how the disciples were afraid when they saw Jesus walking on the water toward them after He had sent ahead of him in the boat.  But one of the wonderful aspects of God’s Word is that their is always fresh insight which can be gained from it.  Let’s look at this Amplified version of the story again. 

MARK 6:35-38, 41-52 (Amplified)

35 And when the day was already far gone, His disciples came to Him and said, This is a desolate and isolated place, and the hour is now late, 36 Send the crowds away to go into the country and villages round about and buy themselves something to eat. 37 But He replied to them, Give them something to eat yourselves. And they said to Him, Shall we go and buy 200 denari [about forty dollars] worth of bread and give it to them to eat? [II Kings 4:42-44.] 38 And He said to them, How many loaves do you have? Go and see. And when they [had looked and] knew, they said, Five [loaves] and two fish….  41 And taking the five loaves and two fish, He looked up to heaven and, praising God, gave thanks and broke the loaves and kept on giving them to the disciples to set before the people; and He [also] divided the two fish among [the] all.  42 And they all ate and were satisfied.  43 And they took up twelve [small hand] baskets full of broken pieces [from the loaves] and of the fish.  44 And those who ate the loaves were 5,000 men.  45 And at once He insisted that the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He was sending the throng away.  46 And after He had taken leave of them, He went off into the hills to pray.  47 Now when evening had come, the boat was out in the middle of the lake, and He was by Himself on the land.  48 And having seen that they were troubled and tormented in [their] rowing, for the wind was against them, about the fourth watch of the night [between 3:00-6:00am] He came to them, walking [directly] on the sea.  and He acted as if He meant to pass by them.  49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost and raised a [deep, throaty]  shriek of terror.  50 For they all saw Him and were agitated (troubled and filled with fear and dread).  But immediately He talked with them and said, Take heart! I AM! Stop being alarmed and afraid. [Exod. 3:14.]  51 And He went up into the boat with them, and the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its own beating). And they were astonished exceedingly [beyond measure],  52 For they failed to consider or understand [the teaching and meaning of the miracle of] the loaves; [in fact] their hearts had grown callous [had become dull and had lost the power of understanding].

How is this possible????  How is it possible that those who were closest to Jesus, who were in His intimate circle and listened to Him daily, to whom He explained the parables when they asked and who had just witnessed the miracle of the loaves, that their hearts had grown callous (had become dull and lost the power of understanding). 

In many ways we are the same. When Jesus does a miracle in our lives, when He provides where there was seemingly not enough, when He heals when there should be no cure, when He opens a door which should remain closed to us, how is it that in our next moment of need we cry out in panic again?

Jesus is calling us to a shift in how we pray.  In another crossing of the Sea of Galillee when Jesus is asleep in the boat and the boat is being tossed so violently, that all other passengers except Jesus fear its collapse and they wake Jesus crying out in panic for Him to save them, Jesus is not panicked.  He remains calm in the face of the world’s storms.  Certainly, He knows that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are sovereign over the storms.  But when God has come over and over again in our lives and has answered prayer, shouldn’t we know this too?!  How can we continue to pray in panic?

God is calling us to pray in all our circumstances in the confidence of who He is – to remember what He has done, so we will know what He will do.  Instead of “help, help, save us!!!”  He is calling us to prayers such as, “Lord, You are the all powerful and all things are in Your hands.  You have the perfect plan and we know You  hear us and love us. We know You will give us the best answer in light of eternity and we trust in You.  Lord God, today we bring You this situation.  Lord put Your power on it.  We know You have heard.  We trust Your result. In Jesus’ name….”  In this way, we stay in His peace and all our prayers are worship.

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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