You know sometimes when you are reading the word , and something literally jumps off the page? I mean just stops you dead in your tracks, and you know it’s the Holy Spirit tugging on you?? This morning it seemed so simple, a story I’d heard since I was in Sunday School as a little girl, yet, it was like I read this little phrase for the first time:
“We have no more than five loaves and two fish-unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” -Luke 9:13
Let’s back up and set the scene because I think it’s important to note where this passage is tucked in scripture:
- The apostles have JUST SEEN Jesus heal a woman who had a discharge of blood for TWELVE years and no one could heal her, except Jesus.
- Jesus has just raised Jaruis’ daughter from the dead, AND
- Jesus has equipped — don’t miss this—He has EQUIPPED his apostles to cure diseases and given them power and authority over all demons (Luke 9:1). Not necessarily an “ordinary” day in the life of… well, anybody. Ok—let’s put a pin in that for later.
So now, Jesus and the apostles find themselves in Bethsaida, which is a town east of the Jordan River described as “a desert place.” This land was used for grazing livestock. There’s nothing around it, no civilization or marketplace. Might as well have been Ten-buck-two and yet crowds of 5000+ people (only the men were counted so I image there were at least as many women and children) have gathered to hear the good news. The Word says, “Jesus welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.” Luke 9:11
Picture it, thousands of weary souls hanging on Jesus’ every single word….yea…they definitely weren’t leaving anytime soon. Which made for a tiny issue around dinnertime. The crowds are probably hungry and tired, and remember this is a desolate place…there’s no Denny’s or Best Western within miles! (…My fiancé LOVES Denny’s… I don’t know why.)
I would also image that many of the people in the crowd have started to ask the disciples for water or food. The fear of a “hangry” crowd mixed with the disciples own hungry belly’s prompted the disciples to say to Jesus:
Verse 12- “Send the crowd away to go to a surrounding village and country side to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.”
And Jesus says, “You give them something to eat.”
Can you imagine? The thoughts spiraling through the apostles heads as they looked around and saw an arena’s worth of people?! Um…. Jesus I don’t know if you’ve taken stock of our supplies recently but we have 2 loaves and 5 fish?!?! There is NO way that is going to feed this crowd!
And here’s what I just love, because I’m in good company with the disciples…they are so ….human… looking at the world based on what they SEE ….
“Unless we are to go buy food for all these people.”
Can’t you just hear the sarcasm in their tone? Uhhhh… riiiiiiight Jesus. We’ll just go buy some food with all this money we have…..
As far as they were concerned, this problem was Impossible because they only saw 3 “solutions:
a) Everybody takes a bit of the 5 loaves 2 fish- not gonna work…
b) We go buy food- we don’t have enough money
c) send them away –ding, ding, ding!
And that makes sense, right? You can imagine why “Send them away” was the obvious bet.
But in Luke chapter 9, we get to peer into the heavenly realm where the rules of the world don’t apply!
Because with Jesus, there’s always an option “D”
d) Let God provide beyond your wildest dreams.
The story goes on to tell us that Jesus took those 5 loaves and 2 fish, broke the bread and he provided for every single belly and then some. In fact, 12 baskets were taken up afterwards!
Now please don’t miss this–remember the “pin” we put in a very important scene setting earlier? The disciples have witnessed Jesus’ miracles. They themselves have been equipped by Jesus to defy human limitation. And yet… they still choose to problem solve within their own limits, or within the limits of this world. You feel me?
Oh, how often my face is pressed up against the glass of the world-window shopping into LIMITED possibilities because I’m concerned about the “How?”
Anybody else let that “how” question trip them up?
How am I going to afford grad school?
How am I going to get into grad school?
How am I going to meet a man?
How am I going to go into ministry?
How am I going to get a new job?
How am I going to move up in my career?
How am I going to pay my bills?
How am I going to forgive that person that hurt me?
How am I going to heal from this pain?
How am I going to live holy in this day in age, in this world?
How am I going to face my spouse again after what I did?
How am I going to get my life back on track?
How are we going to feed 5000+ people with five loaves and 2 fish???
How, How, How??
And we will get overwhelmed if our only options are what WE CAN SEE.
Friends! Whenever God is in the picture, there is always an option D!
Not just sometimes. Not just when we need a BIG miracle. Not just when we’ve been good and “earned it.”
WHENEVER God is in the picture, there is ALWAYS an option D.
Just be ready when you ask for it, because option D is most definitely NOT going to be the way you would approach it or figure it out.
I have to share with you something that just happened to me around my wedding. It was one of those times when after God figured it out, I thought to myself…
Why can’t I just rest and trust in the fact that I know YOU have got me God?
Last week, I went in to pick up my wedding dress, which PS took 4 months to get in! Like it came on the VERY last date they tell you to “be safe but it will never come that late”
So I go to try it on, and the bridal store has ordered me the wrong size– it’s HUGE. Like not the kind of big that can be fixed in alterations. Like the kind of big that even once they took it in, it looked bizarre on my body. Because of the way the dress was made, there was literally nothing they could do to make it look right. The bridal store realized they had made a mistake and quickly tried to call corporate to see if they could get my dress in my size ASAP. The store manager came back to tell me, my size did not exist anywhere in the country. In fact, it would be May until my size was made. You guys, my wedding is in March—so you can imagine my panic. The sweet alterations lady tried to console me as I burst into tears. Finally, I pulled myself together enough to get a little perspective–Jac—there are far worse problems than a wedding dress! I walked out of the store telling myself that over and over again. Let’s just say that the “perspective talk” only got me so far, I spent the next 24 hours asking the Lord to “fix it” while I anxious tried to come up with ways to “fix it” on my own.
I kid you not, the next day after many hours on the phone with my mom to see if I could make her wedding dress work, I got a phone call from the Bridal store.
“Um, you aren’t going to believe this, because this never happens, but your exact dress in your size, came in today as a floor sample? I have no idea how this happened because the system said your size didn’t exist.”
Let me just tell you, my jaw hit the floor. Only one way that dress came in—Jesus. He’s the God that made 5 loaves and 2 fish feed thousands, and He is the God who makes a wedding dress appear out of thin air when options A-C said it didn’t exist.
And the thing of it is, this is not the first miracle the Lord has done for me. After it was all said and done, I turned to my fiancé and said,
“Why do I go through all that anxiety? You’d think at this point I would just sit back and relax and know God’s got it figured out.”
Please know, I am not saying that the Option D always ends in smiles, butterflies, and dresses that fit. The miraculous option D also looks like Jesus hanging on a cross. Even when we were dead in our own transgression, Jesus paid the price so that we may be called clothed righteous in God’s eyes. Trust me, no way in the world would I, nor any man, come up with that “how.” But God did. From the foundations of the earth!
I’ll leave you with this proverb, which rings so true in my heart as I write this to you:
“The Heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” –Proverbs 16:9
Praise God right? Options A-C just can’t compare.