Have you ever noticed this pattern in the gospels: the disciples get in a bind and Jesus bails them out? Hmmm. It sounds a little bit about my life. How about you?
In John 6:1-15, we find the disciples in a precarious situation. Their lawn party had turned into quite a bash. The guests far exceeded their expectations, the disciples hadn’t planned on providing dinner, and it appeared the crowd was expecting refreshments. But the disciples didn’t have the funds or the food to feed them. All they could scrounge up were five loaves of bread and two dried fish. The crowd was getting restless, the disciples were getting anxious, and Jesus was getting ready. He took the five loaves and two fish and told the crowd to sit down—to be quiet.
Then He lifted the food toward heaven, blessed it, and commanded the disciples to hand out the provisions to those who were seated. He didn’t feed the people who were running around worrying – but the ones who were at rest. To those He gave immeasurably more than they could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), with twelve baskets left over.
When we trust God, we will have rest and peace in our lives. I want you to do something for me. Right now, I want you to use your imagination.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians that we are “in Christ” and Christ is “in us.” It also tells us that we are seated “in heavenly places” and “transferred to the kingdom of Christ.”
Picture yourself sitting right beside Jesus under a spreading oak tree. Perhaps His arm is around your shoulder and your head is resting on his chest. You can feel the beating of His heart against your cheek and your head moves with the rise and fall of His breathing.
With His other hand, He strokes your head and immediately knows how many hairs are on your head. His breath warms your skin as it brushes past your face. Imagine Him looking into your eyes and knowing your innermost being and meeting your gaze with a warm, affirming smile reassuring you of His love and care.
Now tell me, as you imagine yourself in the presence of Jesus, how anxious do you feel? How rejected do you feel? How worried are you about tomorrow?
You may be thinking, “Yes, Sharon. I feel at peace in that scene. But that’s not reality.” Dear sister, that is the greater reality. No matter what you are going through today, Jesus is right there with you. So maybe we just need to sit down and be quiet for a while.
Dear Father, I’ll admit, sometimes I am so busy running around trying to solve my problems, I miss Your provision. Help me listen to You more closely and see Your provision more clearly. I don’t want to miss what You have for me today. Help me to sit down and be quiet—to rest in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Is it difficult for you to sit down and be quiet with Jesus? What keeps you from taking time to be still before Him? Take a moment and still your soul. After you do so, leave a comment and let me know how you felt.
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Hi Sharon, it has been a while. I have experienced His presence, and I can’t explain the feeling that came upon me, I was in tears and I couldn’t stop crying and was not able to say anything. It was a different experience, a wonderful experience, a beautiful real picture in action. I felt His presence and I was overwhelmed with His love.
Thank you for the great experience,
Thank you for this vivid picture. I am so grateful that the Lord has helped me to be disciplined to get up every weekday morning 2 hours before I have to leave the house for work so I can get lunches together for everyone and also have time in the Word and an opportunity to email my prayer partner. That said, I yearn for more time to pray. Time to be still and pray. I can say quick prayers occasionally in my mind while at work, but I am not a good multi-talker when it comes to prayer. I like to pray through scripture and I don’t do that well without my bible in front of me as I have not hidden enough of His word in my heart. Father, help me to feel Your presence in a more tangible way as I go through my day. Help me to be aware of the small spaces where I can pray. Give me associations so when I see things, certain people or requests come to mind. Thank You for guiding me in Your truth. Amen.
After closing my eyes and resting with Jesus, I felt calm, happy and enough. I was even smiling. I’m still smiling!
Thanks be to God for teachers of His Word!
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth A song.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
My beloved friend sent this Devotion to me & it is right on time! I haven’t been worried; in fact, it is worse because I have been angry. This Devotion helps me to know that in whatever the situation sitting still and being quiet to receive the answer from God is the solution. I thank you so much. Jesus is ready!
I have been off work, Sharon, for several weeks. It has been a time of healing. As the weeks pass I start to get concerned about no new paying job. I’ve been at peace, but I get concerned I’m not doing enough. I get concerned I’m being distracted. I’ve been doing what I believe God has been showing me to do. But I keep thinking he will also then next provide the job. Prayer warriors are going. Today I sat down just before I read your email. I sat and watched the 700 club actually. They were talking about the movie God winks. They were also talking about their writing and how God provides the material. He sends people with their stories etc. But then I got up and opened email a little frantic to find jobs to apply to and saw your email. I decided to open your email. You spoke about Sudden Glory – similar to God Winks. It felt like His reassurance, but like there was more to say to me. And as I sat still I so appreciated my time sitting next to Father God and Jesus resting on him. I want to sit still in this down time and really hear His direction – His healing for me, His gift of work He has for me. I prayed the verse to Him… Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than I ask or think…. You said Jesus gives to those Sitting Quietly, not running around worrying. So I’m sitting telling Him I want to hear what he has to say to me. What He has me reading and practicing takes time, so I already feel like I’m sitting, focused. Thank you for your email and your book Sudden Glory.
Am I the only one that has a hard time feeling worthy of such a scene??? I don’t feel worthy to lay upon the chest of Jesus…or even to be in his presence if I’m truthful. I am so unworthy of that kind of love…. it tears at my soul!
I have found this blog at just the right time. I am struggling in my marriage and beat myself up trying to fix it on my own. Every time I give it to God and he says to me Be still and know that i am God, i take it back and bash myself to my husband and when i do this i push him further away. It is 1 AM and i am in tears. I came to this blog not on accident but divine intervention. If i am to save my marriage then i must Be still and rest in Jesus. Please be in prayer for me as i continuously over the next few days get still and know that he is God.