From Liz Groman
Mark 6:39 PHILLIPS Then Jesus directed the people to sit down in parties on the fresh grass. And they threw themselves down in groups of fifty and a hundred. Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to Heaven. thanked God, broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. Everybody ate and was satisfied. Afterwards they collected twelve baskets full of pieces of bread and fish that were left over. There were five thousand men who ate the loaves.
This is impossible. How do you feed thousands of people and then collect 12 baskets of left overs when you start with only 5 loaves and 2 fish? Even if the baskets were small and the fish/loaves were very large, this is just impossible. Miracles are like this; they are incidences of God setting aside the inviolate laws of nature to demonstrate that He created them and is not limited by them. (He did this when He created the universe, this earth and mankind in violating the laws that govern nature - the Laws of Thermodynamics - by bringing chaos into order. I marvel at how anyone can believe that the intricacies of our human bodies are the result of random accidental molecule collisions, no matter how many years you allow! Even if it were so, how can they explain the violation of the natural law without recognizing God’s hand in the making of it? I digress...). The knowledge of the miracles (signs and wonders) performed by Jesus and spread by word of mouth swelled the size of the crowds who came to see what He would do next. Some came for the show, heard the Message, and their lives were changed/redeemed by it; others came for the show, heard the Message and left with unchanged.lives; and still others came for the show, heard the Message and were angered enough to support a plot to get rid of/murder Jesus. (I hope I would have embraced His Message, but I recognize it would have been a bold and courageous choice, examining honestly and frankly the teachings and examples of my Pharisee pastors, setting aside a rule and performance based life for a love based one. I am generally a rule follower and might not have made the leap. Sorry, I digress again.)
I wanted to talk about which resources we depend upon here. In the US, we have abundant resources. Like the Apostles, our first thought would be to figure out where to buy enough food for the crowd and how to transport it and distribute it. Finding enough food locally to feed this large crowd would probably have stretched the 1st century resources, but, since they considered it, it must have been possible. When we have a need, we tend to do the same - figure out how to draw on existing resources.. However, Jesus always looked to only one resource - the supernatural power and anointing of God - to meet the need, whether it was possible or impossible. He had no Plan B.
I have to ask myself some hard questions here. Who really is my source - Jesus or me and what I can provide through my own efforts? Do I really believe and seek God’s will, purpose and provision when I pray or is my prayer just a religious formality because I have put my true faith in what people can do and provide? Am I willing to pray and wait for His plan A on healing, direction or provision rather than “help” Him by launching my own Plan B? Am I truly surrendered/submitted to God’s plan for my life, a servant willing to be blessed or a sacrifice, as He wills, in order to fulfill His will and purpose in my life and those He will impact through my obedience? Can I truly submit all of my cultural and religious training to that honest and frank examination by the Holy Spirit and leave behind any rule or performance based religion for true relationship with Jesus? My soul struggles with my response to these questions - sometimes choosing submission and obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit and sometimes listening to the voice of my selfishness and humanity and choosing doubt and sin. I can confess like the Apostle Paul,
“Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ.”
Philippians 3:12 - 14. PHILLIPS
Oh God, my God, Who by Your everlasting and unfathomable love provided redemption, restoration, sanctification for me, I welcome and embrace Your truth and grace to mold, make, change me into the image of Christ Who lives in me and let me overflow with the fruit of Your Holy Spirit empowers me to always choose life, love, grace and truth. Help me to trash every Plan B that I am tempted to make and depend only upon Your Plan A in all things. May my prayers always be sincere, heartfelt, faith-filled and not religious smoke and mirrors. Stop me from ever again limiting You by what I consider possible. Make it so, in Jesus’ name I pray.