I have to tell you guys, I was getting a little nervous yesterday. I had no idea what I was going to write about today. It wasn't until I was getting ready for bed last night that I knew. I also knew I was sleepy and couldn't write it then, so I jotted down a few notes and went to bed.
I had the pleasure of keeping two sweet boys yesterday while their parents worked... one was my six month old nephew and the other was my dear friend’s eight year old. As you can imagine, growing boys are very hungry. For the youngest, it was bottles of milk and rice cereal. For the older, we’ll just say anything that didn't eat him first (except for that granola bar he didn't like).
While I was getting ready for bed and reflecting on my day, the thought crossed my mind about how they both looked to me for nourishment all day. They let me know when they needed to be fed. I then thought of my own children, the youngest being fourteen, and how they don’t have to ask me to feed them anymore. I felt a twinge of sadness in that moment, and then I wondered how our heavenly Father must feel when we aren't looking directly to Him for nourishment. I don't just mean the physical nourishment we all need from food, but a spiritual nourishment...the kind that promises eternal life.
As I flipped through scriptures this morning, I landed on John 6. So much happens in this one little chapter! In verses 1-15 a miracle occurred in an area known as the Golan Heights next to the Sea of Galilee. Jesus fed a crowd of 5,000 with five barley loaves and two fish. After feeding them, they filled 12 baskets with the leftovers! This is the only miracle that was recorded in all four of the gospels.
In verses 22-40, we find Jesus, his disciples, and those 5,000 followers on the other side of the sea. The followers and the disciples are asking Jesus what they can do to perform the works of God. Jesus tells them in verse 29 that the work of God is believing in the One He has sent. In the next ten verses, Jesus explains that He is our nourishment:
30 "What sign then are You going to do so we may see and believe You?" they asked. "What are You going to perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. " 32 Jesus said to them, "I assure you: Moses didn't give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the real bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 Then they said, "Sir, give us this bread always!" 35 "I am the bread of life," Jesus told them. "No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. 36 But as I told you, you've seen Me, and yet you do not believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
It is in the remaining verses of this chapter (vs.41-70) that I can see the pain the Lord must have felt. Even after all these followers and disciples saw miracles being performed, many chose not to believe what Jesus was telling them because it was “a hard teaching”. I can’t say how I might have reacted if I had been there at that time, but it is so hard to imagine not following Christ and believing after seeing the miracles he had performed. Why do people often give up when things are hard?
My final thought for today is: Are you allowing yourself to be spiritually fed or are you like this sweet eight year old turning away that granola bar in his hunger?
If you are hungry, don’t be stubborn...eat. If you feel a tugging by the Lord but don’t know where to start, reach out to us. Send us a message. Don't give up because it seems hard. We will help you.