As I sit here watching the cursor blink on my screen, I am reflecting back on the past 99 blogs that I have written. I’ve written about personal struggles, joyous occasions, and many of my favorite scriptures. When I wrote my first blog, I had just watched the movie Julie & Julia. In the movie, Julie writes a cooking blog. So I decided I should have my own blog too. I wondered if anyone would even read the words I wrote. Inevitably, I have come to realize that God used an unlikely source, this particular movie, to lead me to write this inspirational blog. As for my concerns that no one would read my blog, I have had over 44,000 readers so far. You see, God can take something that seems quite insignificant and transform it into something extraordinarily monumental.
I am reminded of the stories we read in the Bible of the loaves and fishes. The disciples told Jesus that the people needed to go to the nearby villages and get something to eat. Jesus said there was no need to send them away. He simply told the disciples to give them something to eat. Jesus’ disciples nearly panicked when Jesus told them to feed the thousands of people. What good would a few pieces of bread and a handful of fish do when there was literally a multitude to feed? I can only imagine how stressed they were at that very moment. I mean, they couldn’t run to the nearby Sam’s Club or Costco and load up a flatbed cart full of the necessary items to prepare a delightful meal of the highest quality fish and artisan bread. Who knows how close the nearest market even was? But they didn’t want to disappoint Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. I’m sure they held the loaves and fish in their hands, trying to come up with a plan in what seemed like an impossible situation. Soon they found out once more that nothing is impossible with God.
When Jesus saw their concern, He said, “‘Bring them here to me’” (Matthew 14:18 NIV). Before He had the disciples pass out the food, He gave thanks to God. An act so small, saying a blessing over the five loaves and two fish, resulted in a miracle. Matthew 14: 20-21 (NIV) says, “They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.” God did not just provide the minimal amount to feed everyone there, but there were leftovers! Imagine the disciples’ faces as they picked up the pieces that were not eaten because the crowd had had their fill.
Our lives are a lot like the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Many times, we are given blessings or responsibilities that may seem small at first, but inevitably, every little thing we do for the Kingdom of God is epic in proportion. I am reminded of the beloved song written by Kittie L. Suffield in 1924 titled, “Little Is Much When God Is In It.” The chorus states:
Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown—and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.
Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Whether your calling is to teach Sunday School, clean houses, collect donations for the food pantry, serve as a Wal-Mart greeter, care for the sick and elderly, or any other responsibility the Lord has entrusted to you, I want you to know that what you do matters. Why? Everything you do unto the Lord is noticed by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He knows when you give someone a meal, when you smile at someone, and even when you whisper a silent prayer for someone on your mind. One glorious day, we will lay down our cares and worries of this life. Those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will hear the words, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”
While I pray that God uses this blog to encourage someone in their journey through life, it matters not whether it is read by 10 or 10,000. What matters most is that I write it for the cause of Christ. For only Jesus Christ has the power to use it to uplift someone who is downtrodden, bring hope to someone lost in a sea of despair, or encourage someone who is crying out to God for a much-needed miracle in their life. I am just the messenger. It is my prayer that God can use me as a willing vessel. With Him in my corner, I know that this blog will make the next hundred and even hundreds more after that. Why? Because with God, all things are possible!
Have you ever visited a destination so marvelous that you simply desired to stay there forever?Perhaps it was a sunshiny sandy beach or a majestic mountain vista.You know, the kind of place that tugs at your heartstrings and seems almost like a dream.From a Swiss chalet at the foot of the Matterhorn to a quaint bed and breakfast in my ancestral home of Inveraray, Scotland, I often find myself wanting to stay in such a gorgeous place just a little longer.This summer, I had the opportunity to visit Prince Edward Island.As someone with a Master of Science degree in English, seeing all of the Lucy Maud Montgomery sites was somewhat overwhelming.The idyllic scenery on the island drew me in like a bee to honey.I must admit that I have visited several locations that were so dear to me that I became misty eyed when it came time for us to leave, and this was one of those times for sure.While there are many different places that cause me to leave a little piece of my heart behind each time I have to leave, I know that I cannot stay in one place indefinitely.Eventually, it is time to move on.
Jesus’ disciples even found that they often had to move on when they were traveling with Jesus. One day they went up on the mountaintop to pray with Jesus. Peter said, “‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah’” (Matthew 17:4 NIV). The location was so glorious and the experience was so profound that Peter wanted to build homes and begin living on that mountaintop. Of course, Jesus knew that He could not stay on the mountain forever. He knew that He would have to walk through the darkest valley of His life. He knew that all too soon He would be hung on a cross to die. Surely He would rather have stayed on that mountain, secluded from the rest of the world. Yet He knew that He had to move on in order to obey His Father’s will.
As Christians, we often get comfortable at certain points in our lives. We find a job that suits us well, locate a church that makes us feel welcome, or discover a vacation destination that we enjoy so much that we’re ready to move in, much like Peter was willing to place roots down on top of the mountain. While all of these are blessings along the way, we must remember that our purpose is to follow God’s plan for our life. Sometimes this means we must leave that “comfort zone,” whatever it may be, and press on to something different that lies ahead, whether it is a negative change or a positive one. Either way, we can rest assured that every valley we cross and mountain we summit along the way is a step in the right direction.
Paul wrote, “Forgetting what is behindand straining toward what is ahead,I press ontoward the goal to win the prizefor which God has calledme heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV). As Christians, we should have the same goal in mind. To forget the past with all of its disappointments and failures and push on toward the abundant life that awaits us. Jesus Christ knows every joy and every difficulty that we may encounter on life’s road. He knows every opportunity we may miss and every door we may walk through. No matter what we face during our journey on this earth, Jesus Christ gives us the assurance that better things await us. So don’t look back. Look ahead. Seek the Lord’s will for your life. Keep moving on. Cherish each moment of your life with the knowledge that every step you take will bring you one step closer to Jesus Christ.