Monday, December 18, 2017
But What Good Is It?
“…when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd…he asked… ‘Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?’ He asked this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do…One of his disciples…said… ‘There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish – but what are they for so many?’” John 6:5-9
A while back we had the need for a worker to fix a problem at our home. We don’t have the best of luck when it comes to getting the job done in a satisfactory way the first time. Over a span of a few days this worker continued his best but soon it became obvious he wasn’t equipped to meet the expectations of the job. We were hopeful…we were watchful…we were patient! Not that the situation wasn’t disappointing, but I still laugh every time I think of Bruce’s statement that summed it up. He looked at me one evening and said ‘Brenda, I don’t think he’s going to be able to pull this off.’ For whatever reason, it cracked me up then and still makes me laugh to think about it. Bruce ended up redoing the project and with God’s help did a great job.
The disciples were watching this dilemma unfold as group after group crowded in on them in the thousands. I wonder how entertained Jesus might have been in His mind as He considered what He was setting up. Scripture tells us He already knew that He was going to pull off one of the most baffling and supernatural miracles in the Bible. How did He keep from smiling when He asked the question ‘Where is the food?’ When one of the disciples suggested the little boy’s five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus accepted the offer (‘Have the people sit down’). I can only imagine the disciples standing on the side, whispering to each other those same words, ‘I don’t think He’s going to be able to pull this off.’ Were they watchful? Were they hopeful? Were they already considering a plan B?
How many times have we had that same attitude? There have times when facing insurmountable circumstances my heart felt like Jesus just might not be able to pull this thing off…save my child from drugs…sustain my physical and emotional body when I was a caregiver…several years without work…survive the deaths of my loved ones. That’s what God loves to do! He loves to set up unfolding situations that look hopeless and impossible. He loves to be invited into the equation when considering all the problems that surround and consume us. He longs to be calculated into the math of our dilemmas. Jesus was basically saying to the disciples, ‘Bring to me what you already have and watch me provide!’ Their 'what good is it' attitude was replaced with 'so much more than enough' observations as they saw leftovers laying around.
Those words are still on God's lips and in His heart when dealing with our weaknesses. 'Bring me what you have.' We bring to Him our hopelessness…our exhaustion…our loneliness…our unresolved dilemmas. Once we hand them over they become infused with greatness and God’s power, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. His resurrection was the greatest thing ever pulled off for you and for me. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is beyond the ability of our God.
"Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible." Matthew 19:26