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 Wiggle Room

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PostSubject: Wiggle Room   Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:42 pm

Wiggle Room

Pondering the scriptures and teasing out every thread of meaning for its application in my life is at times like cautiously cradling a double edged sword. At once I both embrace what Jesus teaches and recoil at what is being asked of me. For example, in Mark 6: 36-37, the disciples said to Jesus, “Send them away, there are too many for us to feed.” Jesus’ response, “You give them something to eat.”

These words flood my thoughts with memories of times I have felt overwhelmed in trying to do what is expected of Christians, times when I have felt my best efforts would be like trying to bail out the ocean with a teaspoon.

When I see myself too small or weak to undertake the task Jesus has laid before me, I look for excuses. I look for the wiggle room needed for me to escape. But I don’t just look to get out of doing what has been asked, I look to wiggle out with some degree of grace or even righteousness. If I simply said to Jesus, “Lord, I cannot do what you have asked,” I would not be let off the hook.

The disciples were told what they must do, even after they protested. Jesus will not give me any more wiggle room than he gave them. So I try to reason that the task is impossible or that being asked to perform it is not fair because I do so much already. At first I believe that every excuse I can think of is legitimate and makes perfect sense. When I embrace Jesus I cannot at the same time recoil from what he is asking me to do.

Jesus preached the good news, but He also fed the hungry, healed the sick, and gave people new hope. I’m doing as Jesus asks when I provide food, clothing, and shelter; give comfort to those who are sick; and give our brothers and sisters hope for a better life. At times when I think the work that must be done is too overwhelming or impossible to do with what I have, I think about how the disciples were able to feed 5000 with just five fish and two loaves of bread.

When Jesus asks and I accept, He will help me by giving me all that is needed. Whether or not I’m ready to embrace what I read in the scriptures, it is easy to recognize the clear distinction between doers and talkers. Talking Christianity is not expensive, nor does it require much effort. Doing what Jesus asks of me, in other words, living the life he asks me to live, is costly.

Real love, the kind that Jesus expects will cost me my time, money, and in some cases my relationships with family members and friends. It cost Jesus His life. Those who share the good news are doing a good and great work, but those who are sharing the good news and also helping the poor are doing an even better and greater work. At times I find fault in others only to discover I’m guilty of the same offenses.

Saint James asked, “What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have great love and faith but is not getting involved with the needs of others? Will his words of faith make the hungry man’s stomach stop hurting; will it clothe him or provide shelter for him and his family?”

If I make excuses, finding the wiggle room I seek and recoiling from what Jesus teaches, the hungry man will say, “You tell me you’re a man of love and have much faith, and this is good, but my family is in need of something more pressing at this moment. Your faith is not making things better for me and my family; we’re still hungry and lacking food, shelter and clothing.”

If I rise above making excuses and embrace the words of our Lord, becoming a doer rather than a talker, with help from the Holy Spirit I will be up to the task expected of me. I will do what Jesus asks, not out of fear of any consequent that may befall me but rather out of my love for Jesus and all He is doing for me. Jesus will not condemn me when I fail to act; it is my conscience that will cause me my discomfort.

Jesus became man and lived and walked among us. He knows the human heart will at times cause us to recoil and look for some wiggle room. If I move forward in faith He will provide the grace I need to get the job done. No matter the circumstance I can depend on Jesus every time.





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PostSubject: Re: Wiggle Room   Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:20 am

I love the personal touch you added to this. We all know the struggle that goes on inside to do the right thing, which comes from our sinful nature. Thankfully, Jesus died so that we could be made whole. We only need to ask, for we can do nothing to save ourselves, or even improve upon our own sinful natures. We are made new creatures in Christ Jesus. In John 15:16 Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." This assures me that it is Jesus through us, who strengthens us, that we will be able to overcome our sinful natures and accomplish what is right. I take comfort in knowing this, and it helps me to put my trust in Him even more. Your words were both great reminders and uplifting. Thank you.

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PostSubject: Re: Wiggle Room   Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:32 am

Well beyond comfort zones, or "wiggle room", the closer we draw to Him the buffer begins to dissipate and one day it may be completely gone and we will not even have noticed, if our sights have been set on Him all along.
very glad i read this again, thanks be to God.

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