Failing Followers: missing the miracle {Blogging through the Bible} | The Speckled Goat: Failing Followers: missing the miracle {Blogging through the Bible}


Failing Followers: missing the miracle {Blogging through the Bible}

A few years ago, I was walking home from my job in the office of a Bible Camp to find a camper, a middle-school aged child, alone in the parking lot.

My first, split-second reaction was, He's not supposed to be there. Where is his counselor? Chapel started ten minutes ago.

And then I noticed how still he was. He was just standing there, stock-still (not typical for a middle-school boy). His eyes were fixed on a spot just beyond him.

There was a deer, not a hundred yards away, peacefully grazing on the grass at the edge of the gravel parking lot.

The boy watched quietly, in awe, as the deer looked up, made eye contact with the child, and then unafraid, strolled back into the woods.

And the boy, as if breaking from a trance, blinked, and headed to the chapel.


It was Sunday morning.

Sunday mornings are the worst mornings of my entire week.

I don't know if you experience this phenomenon in your household, but somehow, getting ready for church is incredibly stressful and almost always leads to me yelling. Usually at my husband. We are never on time, no matter how early I get up, and since we had our little baby, things have gotten much worse.

And on this particular Sunday, I was running late for church, which was exasperated by the fact that the baby was late waking up from his nap and needed to be changed and fed before we could leave.

He started to stir, and I lifted him from his crib and over to the changing table. Trevor, in the middle of his own Sunday morning preparations, walked past at just the right time to see our little baby's ear to ear smile as he grasped at his little toes.

Trevor stopped and picked up our little smiley one, giving him a hug and a cuddle, tickling the baby with his beard.

I could hardly contain my annoyance. WE WERE RUNNING LATE. I had what felt like a million things to do, and my husband was preventing me from doing them.

I huffed.

And my husband and child looked up at me, eyes full of innocence and joy just to be together, and I was overcome suddenly with the fact that I was missing something beautiful because of my impatience.


"When the evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and [Jesus] was alone on land He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost."- Mark 6:45-49

I think this passage is so funny.

The disciples have just witnessed the feeding of the five thousand- they've seen Jesus making abundance from scarcity, much from little. And Jesus sends them ahead in a boat while he goes to pray.

And then when Jesus is ready to catch up with them, he just strolls on out to the middle of the lake. On the water.

He's about to walk right past them when they realize that he's there.

Okay, so it was probably pretty dark out- the "fourth watch" is somewhere like 3 to 6 am. That could explain why the disciples didn't notice Jesus catching up to them by foot while they strained at their oars.

But I think it's more than that.

The disciples are busy. They're straining. The wind is against them. And so, Jesus almost walks right on by without them even noticing. They're failing followers when they are so focused on what they're doing that they nearly miss it.

They almost miss the miracle. 

I do it all the time. I am really good at nearly missing miracles.

Like the wonder of a child encountering the beauty of creation. Like the two people I love most in this world, sharing laughter and a moment I've prayed for for years.

And why?

Why do I nearly miss it?

I'm straining against the wind.

The things I strain against aren't always negative things, necessarily, but more often, just unimportant things.

I strain against my expectations, against time, against the feeling that I'm not enough. I strain against the schedule I impose upon myself, the need to perform, against the tasks that I deem to be priorities. I focus on the rules and the "right" way of doing life. I worry about what other people are going to think of me. I'm paralyzed by feelings on inadequacy. And in the middle of it, I lose sight of what's really important.

What is the wind, anyway? It's a whole lot of nothing that makes life more difficult. All that nothing, making us work harder than we should and focus on the wrong thing. All that nothing makes us miss the miracles.

What about you?

Do you find yourself focusing on your faith and family, or more on your to-do list and timetable? Are you harried and worn down by all the demands around you? Do you feel like you're missing out on what God has in store for you because you're just too busy to see it? How do you feel at the end of the day, filled with blessings or emptied of wonder?

This life we've been given? The miracles are here.

Don't let them walk right past unnoticed.

And so I'm asking God to take my fumbling and failure and teach me to follow better. To not let my windy days distract me from what He's doing. I'm asking that He would help me find the everyday blessings, the miracles in the mundane. Because I don't want them to pass me by unnoticed.

...   ...   ...

This post is part of the Blogging through the Bible link up!

Members of my Blogging through the Bible group have each chosen a book of the Bible to study and write about! This is a fun opportunity to get to know more Christian bloggers, and to dig deeper with them into God's Word!

Please stop by some of these blogs to read what they have to share today!

(If you're interested in joining in on the link up, I encourage you to join the Facebook Group!)

failing followers devotion messy discipleship gospel of mark  gospel of mark pressure popularity and human approval devotion  god cares and is powerful mark gospel devotion 

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  1. True, true, the flesh fights against joy and giving glory and honor to the Father. Yes, I remember Sunday morning being strangely most difficult when my children were small.

  2. It is all about adjusting our focus. Of course, it is easy to say, harder to do! You are so blessed that your husband takes the time to interact with your son and that he is going to church with you. At least you recognize the importance of the little miracles...they are the sweetener that gets us through the difficult days!

  3. This is so good! I'm so glad to be your neighbor over at Susan's link up this morning!