"To him who has no might he increases strength" (Isaiah 40:29b, ESV).
July, 2013—God’s Word is surprising. You can be reading a particular passage for the millionth time, and yet it speaks uniquely to your heart, in that moment, in a fresh way.
That happened to me recently while reading Luke 9:12-17: Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there.)
But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everyone sat down.Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
After reading it, I immediately felt a familiar sensation in my spirit: God’s still, small voice.
With profound clarity, it struck me. In the current context of my life, I am like the bread and the fish personified. My Samaritan’s Purse colleagues and I have been working overtime responding to the flooding in southern Alberta. Much like the disciples’ evaluation of the little food they had, it’s tempting to look at ourselves as individuals and say to Jesus with incredulous skepticism, “You think there’s enough of me to go around, to help all these people?”
But Jesus is in the business of miraculous multiplication. He fed more than 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. He has moved in the lives of millions, having started with only a ragtag group of 12.
And likewise, He is stretching our comparatively small staff to match the enormity of our task ahead.
Please pray for our staff members who are in the thick of things this summer, responding to the floods. Like the loaves in Jesus’ hands, they are being blessed then broken for the sake of others. Pray that after all the flood victims entrusted to our care are ‘satisfied,’ we’ll be able to take another look at ourselves and then at Jesus in awe, with the realization that the life within us is not entirely spent—in fact, basketfuls are left over.