If we were honest when someone greets us with, “Hi. How are you doing?” we wouldn’t answer with the traditional, “Fine. You?” We’d say, “Overwhelmed. Totally. My to-do list has me by the throat and is squeezing the breath out of me.”
“Fine. You?” That’s the scripted answer. Many times it’s far from authentic.
When Jesus fed the 5,000, it was a task that must have seemed impossibly, crushingly overwhelming to those watching. If it hadn’t been for His trust in His Father’s miracle-working power, it might have seemed ridiculous and impossible to Jesus, too.
How did He handle it? And what can I learn from His example when facing my version of 5,000 hungry stomachs?
He started from a place of prayer. He allowed His Father to fill His heart with compassion for the people to whom He ministered. He involved others in the project, not only for the Father’s glory but so He could also feed the faith of the helpers in the process. He developed a plan and worked His plan. He thanked God the Father for the opportunity to serve and to prove His power and love. He broke the loaves and gave the people what they needed.
Feeding 5,000 men plus women and children on five loaves and two fishes. What an overwhelming assignment. Much more challenging than anything I’m facing today. Pray. Invite compassion. Involve others. Get organized. Thank God. Admit I’m broken. Do the work.
Sounds like a plan.
PRAYER: Jesus, thank You for setting an example for what to do when life seems overwhelming. My list, too, will take a miracle of Your grace. But I’m comforted that even in that, You understand.
“And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled; and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full,” Matthew 14:19-20 KJV.
Today’s devotional is by Cynthia Ruchti, writer/producer of THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME radio ministry and president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Cynthia’s debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home—releases with Abingdon Press May 1, 2010–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtZb0by984g. Cynthia writes stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark (www.cynthiaruchti.com).