I was reading in John 6 today, a story I’ve heard, and I’m sure most have heard countless times – Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.
But this time reading it, God spoke to me as if I were reading it for the fist time. (That’s the great thing about God and His Word. We will never exhaust all that we can know of Him. He’s just too great!)
In the story, there is a group of 5,000 men (women and children present, but not included in the count; typical for that time and day) who were following Jesus. Jesus then poses a question to Philip…
“Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”
It’s a question many of us would ask. It’s a simple question of seeing a need and asking how to meet that need. In any sphere of life, we come across questions like this every day.
- “How are we going to serve this many people?”
- “How are we going to pay the bills this month?”
- “How do we help this troubled teen?”
- “How do we help restore this marriage?”
- “How do we pay for college?”
The questions are as many as people in the world, and more.
Most of the time, I, and I imagine most people, seek to answer these questions as best as we know how. We try the logical approach, like Philip did – “With this many people, 200 denarii won’t even buy enough food.” We try being creative with the resources we already have, like Andrew did – “Well, we have 2 fish and 5 loaves to work with, but realistically, that’s a joke for this size of crowd.”
Most of the time, we try to answer our questions, our needs, in a way that makes sense to us, that we can come up with, that we can accomplish on our own strength and mental power.
The problem with that? The needs and questions we face each day are all too often much bigger than we can handle on our own.
The good news?
Jesus took those 2 fish, and 5 loaves, blessed it, and began passing it out to the crowd. Somehow, everyone ate. Somehow, everyone was satisfied. Somehow, they collected more leftovers than they began with.
How? How is that even possible?
Because “nothing is impossible for God. Because what we cannot do on our own, what we cannot even imagine on our own, God can. He is able. He, “is able to do for more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” to His glory and praise.
As I read John 6 today, I saw myself as Philip. I am the one who is going to look at a problem, and according to my strength and understanding, try to solve it. The problem with that is that if it were left up to me, 5,000+ would have gone hungry that day, because I would have walked away saying we don’t have enough money, and it’s not fair to only feed a few. And who knows throughout life how many more people and impossible situations would be left untouched, if things were left up to me.
I heard God saying to me today, “Your faith is too small. I can do, and want to do far more than you even think or ask.”
That stuns me! God wants to do not only the impossible things that I can think of, but He is able to do the impossible things that surpass my impossible measures of understanding. There is a whole different level of impossible that God is operating with. And He’s got that under control as well.
I’m left here asking myself the questions:
- “How many situations do I, and others, miss out on because I try to answer the question on my own?”
- “How many impossible scenarios go untouched because I dream far too small?”
- “Will I choose to believe that He is able and step out into the unknown trusting Him to take care of my every need and question?”
I don’t want to miss out on something as incredible as what happened in John 6, just because I’m relying on my own strength. I want to experience more. And I believe God wants me to as well.
What about you?