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Real People

Reading the Biblical stories can seem remote, far-fetched, and unreal. Sort of like a fairy tale. But the people we encounter there are very real. Yes, they lived in a different time and culture, but they had the same basic needs and struggles that we do.

I try to put myself in their shoes as I read. What was it like to be the servant girl in the house of Namaan? How did it feel to be falsely accused and thrown into prison like Joseph? How could he stay so strong? And how would I respond if I had heard Jesus humbly teach the truth of God when He was here on earth? Maybe as part of the huge crowd who followed Him, or maybe hosting the Rabbi in my own home?

When I read the story of Jesus visiting the home of Martha, I wonder if I would be like her – busy preparing food for the crowd? Or sitting at Jesus’ feet like her sister, Mary? Not that there is anything wrong with making preparations for such an event. But Martha made the mistake of criticizing Mary for not helping her. After all, isn’t that the woman’s role? Ah, but Jesus told Martha that her sister had chosen wisely. (Read the whole story in Luke 10:38-42.)

Have you ever wished to be Mary sitting there drinking in all the wonderful things that Jesus was saying? Isn’t that what the Spirit of God enables us to do through the Scriptures? To live vicariously through the experiences of the Bible characters that we read about? And to hear the Lord’s words preserved for us over the centuries?

When James was writing about the effectiveness of prayer, he reminded us that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth” (James 5:17, ESV). Wow! Elijah, an ordinary man? With weaknesses and flaws? Yes, but a powerful tool in the hands of a mighty God. Maybe that was what Paul was getting at when he said, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (II Corinthians 12:10, NKJV).

We all need to take time to sit at the feet of Jesus and drink in His wisdom and strength. How else can we make it in this confusing, stressful, needy world? Our job is to represent Him to those around us. That includes the people we rub shoulders with day to day, and those we are remotely connected to in this modern day of technology.

May God find us faithful in all our actions and attitudes today. Are you sitting at His feet expectantly and going about your tasks in His strength? In His love and His light?

“My Prayer” from “A Song of Love”


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