During my last meditation on Mark 6, I felt the gentle tug on my heart to begin the process of relinquishing my earthly securities. I have so much to learn about what this really means in a practical sense. But I can see I have held a tight grip on numerous "security blankets". God is nudging me to let go and trust him. I have a glimpse into the adventures that may await me if I take this leap of faith.
Today, I want to concentrate on the miraculous feeding of five thousand men with only five loaves of bread and two fish. It doesn't take a mathematical genius to see this just doesn't add up. How grateful I am that our God is not confined to the mathematics we were taught in school. Even this is under his sovereign power.
The disciples, now apostles, have just come back from accomplishing the unthinkable. Demonic influences have been cast away. Illnesses have been cured. People have had the opportunity to hear about Jesus. These twelve men must be questioning if what's taken place is even real. How can it be that they have been given the power to perform the miraculous?
But they are human, subject to exhaustion, hunger, and the fall-out of both. Jesus knows this and wants to address their needs. But at the same time, he cannot dismiss the growing crowd of needy, hurting people. So he calls his disciples to once again put their own needs aside and tend to the crowd first.
When it is brought to his attention that the people are growing hungry, Jesus tells the twelve to feed the crowd. Immediately, what jumps out at me is the fact that Jesus doesn't just miraculously produce the food right then and there. Instead, he engages his men in helping him do the impossible. I have to ask myself why. I think that Jesus is setting the stage for his relationship with all of us. He wants to be connected to us ~ he wants us involved in the work he is doing. He longs for that intimate partnership.
I think he also wants the disciples to experience firsthand what happens when we surrender what little we have to him and put the needs of others before our own. I can only imagine the reactions he got when he takes their small offering and multiplies it beyond their wildest dreams.
I love how Jesus goes above and beyond, and provides an abundance for each of his disciples in the "leftovers". Surely they are more well fed and satisfied by their basketful of scraps than if they'd gone off by themselves and devoured the original loaves and fish. They don't hold back, but give him freely all they have. In turn, Jesus blesses them abundantly.
There it is again ~ that message to trust and surrender. The only way I am going to grow in this area is if my relationship with God is deepening. The closer I walk with him, the easier and more desireable it is to trust...to surrender...and to put the needs of others before my own.
"While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done."
~ Helen Keller