On Sunday pastor Jeremy Johnson continued our series “As For Me and My House” by reminding us that God loves to do miracles not with what we don’t have but with what we do have. In order for us to prosper where we are we have to focus on what we do have not on what we don’t have or wish we had. The disciples learned this first hand in Mark 6:30-52:
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed,52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
Notice here that Jesus didn’t tell them to go buy food for the five thousand He instructed the disciples to use what they had. At first the disciples didn’t look at what was available to them. They immediately focused on what wasn’t available. They didn’t think they had enough to do what Jesus was asking them to do but it turns out they had more than enough. Jesus asked them to divide up in groups, He blessed the bread by giving thanks, He broke the bread and then He gave it. He didn’t just multiply it instantly which is what many of us would have preferred but He used the opportunity to show us and the disciples how to believe His word above what we can see with our natural eyes. In order for this miracle to take place the disciples had to believe His word over the limitations of their world. There’s no way five loaves and two fishes could feed five thousand not to mention the women and children that were not counted. Yet they ended up with more than enough.
How many times has God called us to do something and we complain about not having enough? How many times have we missed out on the miracles we so long for in our lives because our focus is on what we don’t have instead of what we do have? If the disciples had ignored Jesus’ request to look at what they had and then trusted that it was enough thousands of people would have been left unnecessarily hungry. Are there times in our lives that we’ve unnecessarily gone without because we have failed to see what we have?
Our God is a God of overflow and just as the food overflowed that day He wants to multiply our blessings to a state of overflowing. But first we must recognize what we have and give thanks for what we have before He can multiply it. Do you feel like you are lacking financially? What about that tip you got the other day that was more than you expected? That is evidence of overflow! Thank Him for it! Does your boss drive you crazy? What about that promotion they gave you a few months ago? Thank Him for it and bless your boss! Oftentimes we ask God to take us to the next level in our lives when we haven’t conquered the level that we are on. The disciples had a chance to go to the next level when Jesus walked on the water to meet them but instead they feared Him. It says they did not understand the miracle of the loaves and that their hearts were hardened. They had just seen Jesus do the impossible but the fact that the impossible was made possible didn’t stick with them when Jesus walked on the water. Therefore they did not move forward as they could have if they had understood that the loaves and the fishes was just the beginning of what Jesus could do with their faith.
This year is a fresh start and an opportunity to recognize what you have so that God can multiply it because He wants to multiply it! In another translation of the story of the loaves and the fishes it is said that the meal came from a little boys lunch. I bet the mother of that child didn’t realize the power that lunch held when she made it like she had done all the other days before. But it was a catalyst for the impossible. You may not think that what you have is enough but one day that may seem like any other, God is going to use your “not enough” or seemly insignificant blessings to catapult you into the next level. Into things your heart can’t even fathom. Choose to be excellent where you are not focusing on what others have around you and trust that in the proper time God will take you to the next level. If you have trouble seeing what you have ask God to remind you and empower you to steward and be thankful for what seems like not enough when in His reality it’s so much more.