Your Unique Story & Chocolate Banana Baked Oats

Luke 5:11 (erv)

The men brought their boats to the shore. They left everything and followed Jesus.

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I have to be honest and tell you that when I read the stories of Jesus choosing His disciples in the beginning of His ministry, I usually feel more upset than inspired. I find myself comparing my journey and my faith to those disciples. In this case, most specifically Simon Peter.

Here’s the thing: I’ve read the verse above dozens of times, probably more. Each and every time, one thought pops into my head: how did he just drop everything to follow a man he didn’t know? Do you have that question when you read this verse? Would it change your mind if I told you that Simon Peter didn’t actually meet Jesus for the first time that day?

I study the Bible pretty regularly, but I’m not educated in theology, and I don’t always have a method to my reading. I have no knowledge of how the Bible is laid out and the order in which the scriptures were written. So I did what I do in most things; I form opinions and judgements based on the very little amount of knowledge I have.

At first glance, it seems that Simon Peter was meeting Jesus for the first time when he decided to leave everything and follow Him. But, when we dig a little deeper into the text, we get a few clues that that isn’t the case. At the time of this event, Simon and his coworkers were fishing. They spent all day trying to catch fish without success. Jesus enters the scene and instructs them to return to the water and drop their nets. Simon’s response shows us that he might not have totally believed Jesus at the time, but he follows the instructions. As soon as they put their nets in the water, they were filled with so many fish that they began to break (v. 6). Immediately following that event, Simon says to Jesus, “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself (v. 8).”

Based on the way that Simon Peter addresses Jesus as Master, you might get a suspicion that they’ve connected before. And if you did, you’re right. In fact, 3 things happened before Simon committed his life to Jesus. First, he witnessed Jesus heal his mother-in-law, who lived in his home. She was very sick, and they called upon Jesus to heal her. “The sickness left her, and she got up and began serving them (Luke 4:38 ERV).”

Second, Jesus met Simon again through his brother, Andrew. Andrew learned about Jesus from John the Baptist, and began following Him. He immediately got his brother, Simon, and told him about what was going on. We don’t know how the conversation went specifically, but we learn that this is the point when Jesus gives Simon a new name, Peter.

Last, before Jesus asks Simon Peter to give up everything and follow Him, He performs the miracle with the fish. Simon had 3 remarkable views and experiences with Jesus prior to giving his life over to Him. Isn’t that refreshing? Inspiring? Comforting? I’ve spent a lot of time comparing my walk with Jesus to others, and I’ve made the mistake of thinking that I wasn’t “christian enough” or faithful enough; that I didn’t surrender the way that others did. And it turns out that things aren’t always what they seem. Simon Peter’s journey of complete surrender to Jesus was unique, and perfectly planned, in the same way that my journey is. And so is yours. Today, we can each rest in the fact that there are no flaws or imperfect timing in God’s plan for His people. And to measure our individual journeys against someone else’s isn’t helpful or productive. Instead, we can choose to see those stories as inspirational, because we get a new perspective; uniqueness.

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Do you ever find yourself comparing your walk with Jesus to someone else’s? If so, how can you change your perspective and find inspiration and motivation in their journey instead of comparison?

Pray

For patience as your unique story is revealed.

Chocolate Banana Baked Oats

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Serves 1

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • non-stick cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut banana in 1/2 and place 1 half in a bowl
  3. Mash it with a fork until it reaches a creamy texture
  4. Add oats, almond milk, cocoa powder, extract, and baking powder and mix until combined
  5. Spray a baking ramekin with non-stick cooking spray
  6. Pour oatmeal mixture in ramekin
  7. Cut remaining half of banana into slices and lay slices on top of oatmeal
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center
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