One of my FAVORITE bible stories is when Jesus feeds the five thousand in Matthew 14. Why? Because it shows the power of our miracle producing God! Yesterday, the weather was beautiful outside so I decided to put on my running shoes and have some Jesus time! I turned on a podcast and let the Lord just speak to me. I love to run up and down my neighborhood enjoying God’s creation; even the small things like a squirrel running in front of me or one of the many stray dogs I attract as they chase me down the street (and Yes! I do run faster, haha). When I run I see so much of the beauty of Christ in His creation. My eyes capture the intricate detail that He places in everything. And then I see people walking and children playing and it gives me so much joy to smile at them or say hello or ask an elder if I can help him pick weeds from his yard. In this, I find Christ. Jesus is all about people and I realize that is where my longing comes from. I want my life to be about others. I want to let go of my “wants” and “needs” and develop a sense of “self-forgetfulness” where I can be a blessing to others. This definitely isn’t easy. It is costly. It requires you to let go of your pain, your tears, your poor self-image that screams “insufficiency” before you and lay it at the feet of Jesus where He can be at the CENTER of who you are. When we take our eyes off of ourselves and allow Christ to become the center, we begin to see the needs of those around us and what people are going through. We begin to pray for them and weep over them. We intercede on their behalf and believe with an immovable FAITH that God can do the impossible!!
Lately, God has taught me so much through Matthew 14; whatever He blesses, He breaks. He has been taking my life and breaking it piece by piece. I can honestly say this past year it feels like I have been through the fire. There were many times I could not understand why I was going through what I was going through. “Lord, please! Not that piece of my heart. Don’t break that piece of my life.” But the more He broke me, the more dependent I became upon Him; the more I yearned for Him; and the more my Faith grew. And He is still breaking me…I am in the process.
In Matthew 14 you see the true compassionate nature of Jesus. Jesus had compassion on the people who were following him because they had been with Him for 3 days and they were getting hungry. His disciples made this known to Him and His response was “Feed them.” Can you imagine 5,000 people standing before you in a remote place with nothing around and Jesus telling you to feed them? My mind would immediately think of my insufficiancy. I would ask myself, “How in the world am I suppose to do that??” The disciples answered with “We only have five loafs of bread and two fish.” They saw the problem before them. This is so true in our lives today. When God gives us a burden to do something, your mind, satan, and lack of resources will always present a problem before you. The problem before the disciples was that they were in a remote place with thousands of hungry people and no where to get any food. They said, “We don’t have what it takes to feed these people.” While this was true, it was also false because God is a problem solving God. There are so many times we say we don’t have what it takes to meet the needs that God has places before us. We allow are faith to stop by what we physically “see.” We are insufficient to meet the challenge. This is right but WRONG. You have to be “broken” down to a place where God can use you. Insufficiency tells us we can’t do that but God says “whatever you have, give it to me.” Even if it is just five loafs of bread and two fish.
The disciples gave the loafs of bread to Jesus and look what He did. He took them, looked up toward heaven, blessed them, broke them, then distributed them to His disciples who in turn gave it to the people. Somewhere in the breaking of the bread, the miracle happened. “Whatever God blesses, He breaks. If He is going to bless your life, He first has to break it.” All miracles begin by giving what you HAVE to Jesus. If we truly get real with ourselves, we are proud, selfish, “I want to meet my needs” people. If God is going to use us in His kingdom to minister and “feed” His people, he first must break us to a point where He becomes the center of our lives and we become completely reliant on Him.
Reading this passage in the bible has allowed me to see the process that God is taking me through and the more I understand it, the more thankful I am for it. God wants to use a sinner like me to minister to His people? God has given me such a burden for the lost, poor, desolate, orphan, widow, and right now He has to break me so I can feed His people. Look at the things in your life as a process that God is taking you through to get you to where you are fully dependent on Him. He is breaking you of yourself and giving you a new heart for His people. To be like Christ we must be about people. Allow the pain to make you stronger and prepare you for the journey ahead that God wants to take you on :)