Friday, November 9, 2012

What I learned from a little boy's lunch

This week I had a meeting with the ladies that are on my team for the mission trip to Durban, South Africa. We went over some fund raising information, our time line for meeting financial support goals, and got more information about what we will be doing with our time in that country. Paperwork was passed out, ideas were batted back and forth and responsibilities were volunteered for. All in all it was a productive meeting! Some of that paperwork was a list of how much money we have each received in donations. I'll be honest, I knew how much had been donated already on my behalf, but a little part of me was hoping that God had worked some serious miracles and that there would be a lot more money out of no where! I realize how silly that sounds, but God can do big things and I strongly believe that! But alas, the expected amount was all that was written on my paper.

I'll admit I was not surprised, but a little bummed. I called my mom to talk it through and get that good motherly wisdom that moms apparently inherit when babies grow up, and which I hope I end up with as well someday down the line. Her words of encouragement were simple but so true: "Trust God". Serious wisdom, I know!!

In my human brain I don't understand how God can take the small amount that I have and turn it into the much larger amount that I will need. How can He possibly turn $50 into $2,500 in 2 months? I like things to be logical and easily understood. I like to know how things work and what it will take to make them happen. I'm not very good at this whole faith thing sometimes. Then I let myself believe that my faith must not be solid enough for God to come through and give me a miracle. That notion terrifies me, but I know that it is not true.

While I was talking to my mom about my big dilemma I was reminded of a story in the Bible when Jesus did something huge with something tiny, even when everyone, including his closest friends (the disciples), had little faith.

The story is found in Matthew 14
Please read it on your own, I'm a big proponent of turning the pages of a Bible on your own, but I will give you the run down of it here:
A crowd has gathered to follow Jesus and listen to him teach and perform miracles. It started to get late and the disciples asked Jesus to send the crowd away so they could go buy food in the local villages because they couldn't provide food for them there. There happens to be a little boy among the people (God knew he was there for a reason) who has a lunch with him of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to eat. Jesus brings the little boy up, takes his lunch, prays, and distributes the food among the disciples to disperse to the crowd.

I bet they were skeptical. I can imagine the disciples thinking, "There are well over 5,000 people in this crowd and we have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Clearly this will not be enough food." I can feel their disbelief, because I have felt it in my own life so clearly, especially the last few days. I have thought "Maybe God doesn't want me to go. Maybe the funds won't come in. I can't even imagine Him being able to make $50 into $2,500 in 2 months."

The best part is the end of the story. Jesus did come through in huge ways. The text says that there were "5,000 men, besides women and children." Let's do a little math. (Mind you I hate math, so it will be simple math!) There are 5,000 men. Let's say for examples sake that every man was married and brought his wife along with him to see Jesus. So that's 10,000 people. Then if each couple had 1 child with them that's 15,000 mouths to feed. But it seems like there were probably quite a few more children in the crowd than that given family sizes in that day. So for arguments sake, let's round up to 20,000 hungry bellies in the crowd. Here's the best part. They ALL ate until they were FULL!! And there were LEFTOVERS!

The moment that I remembered this story I felt God whispering into my heart "If I can feed thousands of people from a little boy's lunch, I can certainly pay for your trip from a $50 donation that was given in faith. He quieted my fears and gave me a little more faith. He can do great things! He can do things that my human brain cannot ever come close to understanding or explaining away with even the best logic. He is Provider. He is Father. He is all that I need. He is all that you need.

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