by Meredith Mills @DazzledByTheSon
The job is too big. I feel too small.
The pain is too deep. The broken pieces too many.
I’m not strong enough. Smart enough. Experienced enough…
Have emotions like these every hijacked your heart? It happens to me all. the. time.
Like when the pot’s boiling over, the child’s calling from the bathroom, the phone’s ringing and my hands are in soapy water.
Or when the day looms daunting ahead, and I just want to pull the covers up and go back to sleep.
Or when I go to a writers’ conference and start comparing myself to real writers.
Or when a loved one’s heart is breaking and I want to fix it, heal it, make all the hurt go away.
Life is complicated and messy and it rarely turns out how I plan. Sometimes I feel inadequate for this life God has given me.
That’s why I find the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 so very encouraging (Mark 6:34-44).
Jesus and His disciples needed to get away. Their days were so full of need-meeting that they hadn’t even had time to eat. It was definitely time for a break. But when they arrived at their planned retreat, a large crowd of needy people were waiting.
Jesus’ compassionate heart shifted gears. He spent the day loving on those who came to Him. But by the end of the day, His disciples were done. They came to Him with their plan – “Send the people away so they can eat.”
Jesus’ response astounds me. “You give them something to eat.”
Ummm….come again? We must have misheard Him. Did He say for us to feed them? Doesn’t He know that we can’t feed all these people? Is He that out of touch with “reality”?
I find myself wondering, why would Jesus tell His followers to do something impossible?
But did He? Was their assignment really impossible?
Actually, He told them exactly what He was about to do – with their hands. They would give those people something to eat.
It seemed impossible, though, because they instinctively looked to their own resources. If they relied on what they had, they would be stuck with just that. Jesus’ plan, however, was bigger than the disciples and their resources.
He told them to take inventory and come talk to Him about it. They brought a mere five loaves and two measly fish to Jesus and watched as He blessed what they gave Him. Then He put into their hands what they needed to feed every one of those people.
But not all at once. He gave them a little and they gave it away. When they used it all up, Jesus gave them more. And they did it again. And again. And again, until every person was fed.
And that is how we do the impossible, too.
We offer ourselves to Jesus – all our strengths and weaknesses, experiences and memories, joys and sorrows…all we have and all we are. He takes what we give Him, broken or small as it may be. Then He uses our hands, our hearts, to feed the hungry souls around us and to live out His call on our lives.
He gives us wisdom for decisions we must make.
He provides strength to do more than we’re capable of on our own.
He forms endurance in us through the struggles we face.
He tunes our hearts to His so He can love the world through us.
He does this over and over again, as we keep coming back to Him for more – more intimacy, more grace, more strength, ultimately, more of Him.
For God Himself is both our Source and our Supply. He has already given us everything we need for godly living. (Check out 2 Cor 3:5 and 2 Pet 1:3.)
What about you? How have you seen Him multiply your “loaves and fish” so you can live beyond yourself? Please join in the conversation – I’d love to learn from your journey!