Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them and healed their sick. When evening had come, his disciples came to him, saying, “This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food.” But Jesus said to them, “They don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat.” They told him, “We only have here five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to me.” He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass; and he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes. They all ate, and were filled. They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces. Those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
These words describe an event beyond my understanding. I cannot explain the process, but I can accept that in the presence of Jesus miracles occur. Jesus calmed the crowd; he took ordinary people hungry for meaning/health in their lives and presented an opportunity for them to be part of a miracle. And the people responded.
Today is no different from that time long ago. Ordinary people (you and I) want purpose and healing in our lives. We want to love our family members and respond to the needs of others. But we are caught up in worldly responsibilities and cultural expectations. Our days are cluttered with demands that need immediate attention.
Advent is a time to prepare for the Christmas miracle in a manger; a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus by following his examples of caring, giving, healing; a time to soften my heart so Jesus can enter; to allow the presence of Jesus to be visible in my actions.
What can I do to nurture the mind, body, and spirit of those in need? I quiet the noise in my head and really listen to the whispers that nudge an action on my part. Do I choose to respond? Sometimes. Then, I step out in faith to follow God as He directs each step and my actions play a small part in His miracle.
One example from my life is Serendipities – a true miracle in caring, giving, healing. It began with a group of praying ladies who listened to Jesus and said “Yes” to His nudges to do God’s work through a gift shop. Many hands (volunteers and shoppers) have supported the project and many lives have been blessed. Christ leads, we follow, and the results have been miraculous.
Is your heart open to opportunities to be an instrument in the miracles God orchestrates? Will you listen for guidance?
Prayer: Loving God, I thank you for your presence and your persistent knocking on the door of my heart. Guide me to less busyness and more time with family and friends. Open my ears and eyes to the needs around me and give me courage to be your hands and feet to reveal your presence, peace and joy.