Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Journey, part 21: the surrender of resources

Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, "Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place." But He said to them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people." (Luke 9:12-13 NASB)

The apostles had returned from their Journey of Obedience and been debriefed. Jesus and the twelve were back together and the crowds were huge. It seemed that the Journey of Obedience was over, but it soon became apparent that the apostles' training was just getting started. 

It had been a long day. Jesus had been teaching and healing for hours and there was an enormous crowd. The apostles were hungry and tired and ready to be through with this long day. If they were tired and hungry, surely the crowd was, too. They knew that Jesus wasn't leaving as long as there was a crowd, which meant they weren't either. "Let's send the crowd to get supper and lodging for the night and start back in the morning," they suggested hopefully. Jesus just smiled. "You give them something to eat!" He said. They just stood there for a long moment. More than 5,000 people were milling about and they were going to feed them all? Right. 

"Well, Jesus," someone in the twelve said, "We can do one of two things. We have five loaves and two fish. We can do something with that, or we can try to go into town and buy something to feed them." That doesn't sound like a bold statement of faith, does it? Maybe not, but it is likely bolder than you think. 

What Jesus told them to do was feed the people. The disciples assessed the situation, surveyed their resources, and came up with a brilliant solution. The twelve offered their resources to Jesus, and let Him decide. It was a kind of "Thy will be done" submission. These twelve men had seen Jesus turn water into fine wine. They knew He could do something with five loaves and two fishes. They also knew they could not. 

This is a critical juncture in their faith. Perhaps for the first time, they looked at the little bit in their hand (the loaves and fishes), and thought, "I wonder what Jesus could do with this."  Their wondering became an invitation for the miraculous and Jesus did not disappoint. 

This juncture of faith was a vital point in the journey of obedience for the twelve, and it is vital for us, as well. When we realize that Our Lord can do something miraculous with whatever He has given us, we begin to see that the possibilities are endless. There is no telling what God will do with the tiny bit in our hand when we offer it to Him with a "Thy will be done" invitation. 

Has God called you to a task that seems impossible?  Offer whatever resources He has given you to Him and invite Him to do whatever He desires with them. You may be surprised by what He will do, but you certainly will not be disappointed. 

Thanks to all who prayed for us yesterday. It was an amazing day filled with dreams come true. We would love for you to visit the park and enjoy our blessings with us!