Summary: How does God get our attention?

NR 23-07-06

Story: A young and successful executive was travelling through a rough neighbourhood, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar.

He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.

As his car passed on set of parked cars, no children appeared . Instead, a brick smashed into the side of the Jag!

He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting,

"What was that all about and who are you? Just what do you think you are doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

The young boy was apologetic.

"Please, mister...please, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do," he pleaded.

"I threw the brick because no one else would stop..."

With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car.

"It’s my brother, "he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat.

He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.

"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.

Too shaken up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door.

He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: "Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!"

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts.

Sometimes when we don’t have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It’s our choice to listen or not.

And one of the bricks that God throws when we are in the fast lane - you can hear echoing down the portals of history from the story of the feeding of the five thousand in Mark’s Gospel.

And this is the words of Jesus when he said to his disciples:

"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." (Mk 6:31)

We live in a society where we are often very busy.

Often I look in my diary and wonder how I will survive the week. I am in such a rush.

Yet Mother Theresa once observed: God is rarely found in the midst of noise and restlessness. Instead he is the friend of silence.

The disciples were on Cloud 9.

They had come back from a very successful mission trip

St Mark records that the disciples “drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them” ( Mk 6:13)

They wanted to keep on going. God is at work – how wonderful.

Conventional wisdom would have said: “Strike while the iron is hot. Put another evangelistic campaign together. “

But JESUS said: “Pull aside with me for rest”

Rest is so important if we are going to complete the course.

By resting in Jesus, we see three divine principles which shine out of the story of the feeding of the five thousand.

I. God is in control.

Our problems don’t go away, but we acknowledge that God can deal with them.

II. We will be surprised that God will use our meagre resources- in ways we cannot dream about

III. When God acts, He supplies liberally.

Let’s look at each of these principles.

1. The first principle is that God is in control.

There is a temptation in life to be overwhelmed by things. The disciples were probably going to burn out if they had not drawn aside.

How many of God’s people haven’t finished the course - because of burn out.

Story: Evan Roberts.

In the fall of 1904, Wales experienced a monumental religious awakening that shook the nation. It turned Wales’ coal mines into sanctuaries. Pubs closed as did the local brothels, and scheduled sporting events were cancelled.

God used a young man called Evan Roberts (1878-1950) as the prime mover in this Revival and he rose to national prominence.

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