MANY times, when we look around us we don’t like what we see. We see our scarcity and limitations. We see relationships that are causing us distress. We look at our wayward children and we feel overwhelmed. We check our bank balance and we feel hopeless. We see our problems and we wish that a miracle will happen.
Miracles happen. But sometimes, you are the miracle that must happen to turn around your situation. Sometimes, the miracle you look out for can be found in you.
In the ancient Palestine city of Capernaum, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field’” (Matthew 9:35-38, NIV).
THE PARADOX OF LIFE
CAPERNAUM was regarded as Jesus’ own town because it was from this city that He operated His public ministry. The city was wealthy due to fishing and trade. The city also hosted a customs duty and the Roman garrison that protected the entire region of Galilee. Its culture was heavily influenced by Greek and Roman manners, dress, architecture and politics. Capernaum by all indications had the marks of a prosperous, well-organised and secure city. Yet, the people were harassed and helpless like sheep without shepherd. In other words, they were weary, confused and scattered with no sense of direction.
My wonder is this: How can you live in such a city and be disillusioned? Is it possible to live in a place of opportunity and still be overwhelmed by your problems? The Congo River regarded as the world’s deepest river (220m), the third largest river in the world by volume of water discharged and ninth longest river (4700km). River Congo has enormous potential to boost agriculture, aquaculture, transportation and energy. In fact, it is the most powerful river in Africa. It is estimated that during the rainy season, over 50,000 cubic metres of water flows into the Atlantic Ocean each second. Consequently, there is massive opportunity to generate hydro-electric power sufficient for all of sub-Saharan Africa’s energy requirements. Did you see that? River Congo alone can defeat Africa’s energy challenge.
A substantial part of this region lies right in the Tropical Zone, implying abundant sunlight which could also be tapped to produce electricity. If we consider the huge reserve of crude oil and uranium, the challenge of energy should not be a Goliath for Africa. Yet for many Africans, darkness is as real as the sun is. The condition of the indigenes of Capernaum is similar to the condition of the people of Africa. We are harassed and helpless.
THE WAY OUT
1. Compassion. Jesus had compassion on the people. He was concerned about the misfortunes of the people. This concern moved Him to preach, teach and heal all over the city. He did not remain apathetic. He identified the needs of the people and felt that something should be done about them. He put Himself in the shoes of the people and decided to help them.
2. Leadership. The people looked like sheep without shepherd. That was the root of their problem. They had no sense of leadership and direction. Definitely, the city’s economy, culture and civilization portrayed that the political leadership was somewhat up and doing but the people themselves had no sense of initiative. Because of that, they could not tap into the opportunities that surrounded them. The only way we can deal with the issues in our lives is to exercise initiative; to lead ourselves out of our frustrations. Jesus modeled this through His preaching, teaching and healing ministry.
3. Interpretation. Speaking to His disciples, Jesus remarked that, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” He looked at these harassed people and called them the “harvest.” What is a harvest? Jesus used “harvest” as a metaphor to refer to a people who are ready, available and willing to make their lives meaningful. These same people were the “harvest” Jesus referred to. How can a harassed and helpless people be referred to as a harvest? Jesus was speaking to the potential of those people. He looked beyond their hopelessness and focused on what could come out of them. When you look at your problems, do you imagine how the solution would look like? That must become your mental reality. Don’t make what you see with your eyes your stark reality. You can create a new reality with your mind. The pictures you form in your mind become your actual reality.
4. Commissioning. Jesus recommended that what these harassed and helpless people needed to realize their potential was for the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His field. Every problem is a potential opportunity but you need to be commissioned to be able to tackle the problem. Commissioning means being empowered to address a particular issue. This empowerment comes when you pray to God to reveal to you the talent and ideas He has equipped you with. You also need to pray for divine enablement. Divine enablement is what we normally refer to in Christian circles as anointing. Then get to work. You can’t fail.
YOUR turnaround moment is here. What are you compassionate about? Exercise leadership and see the potential. Then seek to be commissioned by the Almighty. Don’t be overwhelmed. You will make it.
© 2013 Terry Mante
Personal Development Network (PEDNET)