Friday, June 09, 2006

Plunging into Possibilities

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What others are saying:

"Cathy Messecar finds temples wherever she goes: in a chapel on a
university campus, at her children's bedsides, in a church full of
rustling Bible pages... or on a bale of hay, in the cab of an
eighteen-wheeler, in the aisle of a grocery store. Like a long-ago
Teacher walking the dusty roads of Galilee, she can spot the outlines
of the sublime camouflaged by the ordinary. Her images will touch your
imagination; her words will touch your heart; her visions of eternity
will touch your soul." ---Thom Lemmons, co-winner of the 2006 Christy award for Christian fiction King’s Ransom


Bread and water set off thoughts about faith. In The Message by Eugene Peterson, two phrases helped deepen my understanding and belief. First, in chapter 16, Jesus told his disciples to be careful of the “yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

The disciples witnessed Jesus supplying bread to thousands, but when Jesus mentioned yeast they thought he was reprimanding them for forgetting to buy bread. In the KJV and NIV, Jesus tagged their belief as “little faith.” Even though they witnessed bread miracles they were still bread-worriers. Peterson’s term for them is “runt believers.”

The second phrase is about Peter’s faith. He alone tried to walk on the water to Jesus, welterweight-faith but only Peter and Jesus did it. When he faltered and was up to his ankles in lake water, Jesus reached out his hand saying, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Peterson’s language says, “Faint-heart, what got into you?”

Is that the gentlest question you ever read? Jesus wasn’t angry about runt-faith. In both instances, he simply wanted his disciples to think into the realm of God’s possibilities.

God's plan for the church soars above our faint-hearts, above our imaginations, steering us to unimagined opportunities. Learning to pray beyond the sights we see and plunge into the possibilities of God's foresight is a faith journey.

In my past study of these scriptures, I made the mistake of spotlighting the “little faith,” the “runt believers,” the “faint-hearts.” The main character is the Savior supplying bread, standing on the water, giving lessons, fanning embers of faith, blowing on the coals of trust.

Jesus constantly taught and interpreted God to the disciples and by the end of their lives they had forest-fire faith. The message about the Christ was heard around the world because of their teaching.

How much do we want the world to hear about Jesus? Do we long for our friends, relatives or neighbors to see Jesus interpreted through our lives?

Whatever level of faith, God has granted you — dare to dream big. Pray big prayers and expect over-the-top results. God can do great things through folks who step out of the boat.

Plunge into his possibilities because even a faint-heart walked on water.

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