You are a Part of the Miracle
Here I am …. still reading The Grave Robber by Mark Batterson (great book, slow and distracted reader). Today, I am rereading chapter 13 because, wow! I can’t wait to share with you what I am learning about how we get to contribute to the miracles God has planned.
The Loaves and Fishes! It’s a fascinating event if you really look at the details.
Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” John 6:5-7
Jesus was pre-planning this miracle. That gives me such comfort and hope. Jesus is looking at my life and yours and planning how He will intervene above and beyond what we can imagine is possible.
Jesus chose to involve Phillip (and the other disciples) in the upcoming miracle. He asked a question that exposed the truth resting within Phillips’s heart. Phillip was with Jesus, the Miracle Maker, but he hadn’t grasped that reality.
Isn’t that just like us? We are “in Christ.” Immanuel, God with us, is always present with us. He connects our lives to the unlimited power and love of our God. And sometimes, like Phillip, we declare the mountain we face shall not be moved. We just stare at what is and forget Who is with us.
In The Grave Robber, Mark Batterson draws our attention to the little fella with the sack lunch. He highlights the fact that this “one act of sacrificial giving was the catalyst for one of Jesus’ most amazing miracles.”
He goes on to say, “If this boy didn’t share his five loaves and two fish, I don’t believe this miracle of multiplication would have gone down. Am I suggesting Jesus could not have performed this miracle without the little boy’s lunch? Yes and no. I suppose He could have created a four-course meal out of nothing. But generally speaking, God doesn’t do the supernatural if we don’t pull our weight by doing the natural.”
Do you agree? How do you see that at work in Scripture and in your life? I think it’s a lot like taking a step toward God and trusting He then moves into your life with His resources and creative solutions (James 4:8)
Batterson says, “The lesson embedded in this miracle is so simple: If you put what you have in your hands into God’s hands, He can make a lot out of a little. In the natural world, it’s easy to think that if you give more, you’ll have less. But that’s not how it works in God’s economy… You have more left over than you had to begin with!”
When I read that, my mind went immediately to Luke 6:38:
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Do you see the connection? When we give our little sack lunch to our people, our enemies, the stranger, and even the strangest, God takes that act of faith and cooperation with His generous nature and does amazing things with it.
What is your sacrificial sack lunch?
This week my sacrifice is one of praise to God. I long for something that I don’t have. I am so tempted to be jealous that others have it and waller in self pity because I don’t. It took me more than a few hours to get around to making the sacrifice, but I was able to praise God for giving specific people the gifts that I want. The next day, I had a few moments of grumbling in my heart and out of my mouth. It tastes YUCK the me the minute the words leave my lips.
I long for more humility in this area of my heart. But I am trusting that each time I give my praise to God and honor His generosity to others, He is crediting that to my account and one day the miracle of abundance in that area will be a reality in my life. It might not look like what I want so badly today. It could be so much better.
My alternative is to complain, like Phillip, that this situation so far beyond what is possible. But I believe the “give and you will receive” applies to both the positive and negative choices we make. My complaints could snowball back to me in ways that would drive an even larger wedge between what I want and what I have.
Fortunately for Phillip, Jesus was there to redirect the outcome of the day. And the Holy Spirit is there with me to redirect my thoughts – to help me choose the life and peace that comes from letting His Spirit guide our minds (Romans 8:6).
This is just one somewhat unusual example. I would love to hear how God is prompting you to stretch and give what you can.
Beyond Our Resources and Ability
The little guy with the loaves and fishes didn’t allow what he didn’t have keep him from giving what he did. Batterson drives the point home with this: “A God-ordained dream will always be beyond your resources and beyond your ability. In other words, you cannot afford it and you cannot accomplish it. Not in your lifetime! But God can do more in one day than you can accomplish in a hundred lifetimes. When you add God to the equation, His output always exceeds your input. And your two fish can go a lot further than you can imagine if you put them into His hands.”
Our job is to believe in Jesus, the One who has done and can do the impossible for us (John 6:29).
Lord, we ask You to forgive us for the many times we’ve looked at our situations and felt hopeless. You know our unbelief and prayerlessness. We cry out to You for MORE faith! We thank You for being our Shepherd who leads us to believe that nothing is impossible when it’s in Your hands. Teach us to do our part. Please, don’t let us miss the miracles you are planning for our lives. In Jesus, we pray. Amen
About Jennifer O. White
I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.