Have you ever been faced with a need in someone else’s life and thought, “I wish I had it. If only I had it, I would totally give it to you.” I have thought it more than once. And it’s kind of a bummer…the disciples found themselves in this predicament when Jesus told them to feed a HUGE crowd and they didn’t have enough……
Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.” But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!” “How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.” They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.” Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed from those loaves! (Mark 6:35-44)
Have you ever been faced with a need in someone else’s life and thought, “I wish I had it. If only I had it, I would totally give it to you.” I have thought it more than once. And it’s kind of a bummer…
Jesus preached to the crowds until it was late in the day, and it was getting to be dinner time. The disciples were getting hungry, and they wanted Jesus to send the crowd away so they could all go eat. Jesus surprised them. “You feed them.” And their response was classic. “Ummm….are you serious? We don’t have enough.”
Jesus didn’t even bat an eye at that. He turned right around and asked them, “How much bread do you have? Go and find out.” The disciples didn’t know what they had on hand, but they knew that whatever they had, it would never be enough to feed that crowd.
Jesus wasn’t concerned with what they didn’t have. He was a pretty smart guy. He knew they didn’t have enough to feed the crowd naturally speaking. He was just looking for something to work with. He was looking for faith. He was looking for someone who could say to Him, “We have this much food. What can you do with that?”
Truth be told, I think even if the disciples had come back and said, “We don’t have any food. What can you do with nothing,” it would have been enough expectancy to work with. I mean, really…..we are talking about the One that rained down manna and quail from heaven. The One that made water flow from a rock. The only One who can make something from nothing but faith.
I think if they would have said, “We found some rocks,” He would have still said, “Everyone sit down…it’s time to eat!.” It was faith he was looking for.
What I love about this miracle is that it was not about the disciples’ need. I’m sure they had a dinner plan that night. They were trying to send the people away so they could get to it. Jesus was looking for them to look beyond themselves and use their faith to be a blessing. They got to eat too, but they got to be a part of someone else’s miracle.
In our early days, we had three babies and were living paycheck to paycheck….and it wasn’t a big paycheck. Are ya with me? We had needs ourselves, but we found out about someone else with a HUGE need and wanted to help them. We started to believe God to be able to bless them…and sure enough, someone gave us exactly what they needed and we were able to help them. How cool is that? (Oh, and He met our need too!)
God is still in the miracle business. Faith activates the power of God to pull those miracles from heaven to earth. But it’s time to look beyond even the miracles we need just in our lives to see what He wants to do through us. It’s time to take what we have (or even what we don’t have), look to heaven, bless it, and ask God to multiply it to give it away.
Let’s ask God what we have in our hand for someone else. He can do more with it than we ever could. It is amazing to receive a miracle. But it is even more amazing to BE someone else’s miracle.