Many of us see needs around us and wonder what can I do to meet them. Jesus disciples were no different. Matthew tells us the story of them when they were struggling but a way was found to resolve the problem that they did not expect to see.
Let’s set the scene
Jesus had just heard that a relative and fellow preacher had been killled by people who objected to his message. He was sad and wanted some time to be alone with his thoughts. He tried to escape the crowds but they still followed him.
He had gone to a dry and barren place hoping to find peace and quiet. Yet all these people still followed him. It did not matter to them that it was dry and barren their hunger was for a new and better life and this man’s reputation was that he could change lives. Jesus did not disappoint them. The amplified version of the Bible says that he had compassion and deep sympathy for them and cured their sick.
What happened in the evening?
What do you do with a crowd at the end of the day? You send them home of course. When I read this passage I realised that these were people from the towns and the disciples suggested that Jesus sent them to the villages to buy food. That presumes one thing i.e. they were able to do something to help themsleves.
How many times do you run out of the house on a whim and forget to take any money with you? How many times have you been in a strange place and not been able to buy food? How many times have you been somewhere and huge crowd decended upon a shop and the shopkeeper can barely cope with the number of people arriving at once? All of these problems could be solved if these people had something to eat before they left.
But what? Resources were minimal i.e. five loaves and two fishes. how many of us know that feeling? We look at what seems to be tiny resources that we could barely stretch for our small group. Yet the needs of those around us are so great that we have to do something. We can barely care for ourselves and yet there is this pressing need on our doorstep.
What do we do with what we have?
We have two choices. Take what we have share it and see what God does with it. Or we can keep what we have for ourselves and meet our own needs. It is scary though all those needs and so few resources. How will the gap be filled. What is going to happen next?
Jesus told his disciples the people did not have to go anywhere to have their needs met they had enough to meet them. Ummm how many of us have stood in that place? I do not have the skills to do this? I don’t have the experience to do that? Where is the money going to come from to pay for it all?
There were no excuses for the disciples. They had minimal resources. Many of us feel that we are not enough to meet the needs around us. In fact that was why it was so important for me to read this verse and think through the story like this at this precise moment.
Putting this into action
I had just spent some time reviewing the resources I had online and saw my own version of five loaves and two fishes. There again I am not sure if I saw breadcrumbs and fishbones!
The encouragement for me was to take what I have pray over it like what happened in this story. Then do as the disciples did and give what I have and see what happens. Or another way of puting it is to take my natural and let God add His super to it so that it becomes supernatural.
There are times that I manage to do this but there other times when it is a lot more challenging. Daft as it sounds it is easier to so this when you don’t know how to do things. Once you start thinking that you know what to do then you start thinking that you can do it by yourself. That is when it gets dangerous. But that is another story.