Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Do You Have, What Can You Do?

"Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat. But He answered and said to them, You give them something to eat. And they said to Him, Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat? But He said to them, How many loaves do you have? Go and see. And when they found out they said, Five, and two fish."
Mark 6:36-38 (NKJV)

Many people know the story from Mark 6 about the feeding of the 5,000.  The disciples were concerned about the crowd of people having something to eat and Jesus told the disciples that they should provide the crowd with some food.  Immediately the disciples started talking about the problem and asking if they were supposed to go and buy food for all the people; they were more focused on what they didn't have than what they did have.  Jesus replied by asking the disciples what they did have and the end of the story is that Jesus used what was available to meet the need.

We can see this principle repeated over and over again in the Bible, that God wants us to make use of what we have and start with what we can do.  God will take what we have and use what we can do to meet the need and bring a solution to the problem.  Two other good Bible stories about this can be found in 1 Kings 17 and in 2 Kings 4.  Both situations show someone in need who followed God's direction and took what they had and did what they could and found a solution.  It may be true that there are some things we don't have yet or can't do at the moment but what is available to us right now?

So often we find ourselves in situations where we feel inadequate and don't think we can do what needs to be done.  We focus on what we don't have instead of what we do have.  God will meet all of our needs and help us with whatever problem we face, but sometimes we need to take the first step.  If we use the principle we see from the feeding of the five thousand we will first find out what we do have and what we can do.  Then we can give those things to God and allow Him to help us meet the need and to do what needs to be done.