Have you ever had an experience in life that so obviously pointed you to a story in the bible? We had just such an experience at my old church (Gold Creek Church in Mill Creek) back in 2004. While it wasn’t 5,000 (closer to about 700), the awesomeness of the experience was still impressive to each of us in the small group.
Our community group had volunteered to provide the food for the entire congregation on the day we would announce the results of our building campaign. There had already been amazing stories from this campaign so this experience didn’t actually shock us at all. We were feeding spaghetti (not exactly fish and bread but close enough). There had already been an accident in the kitchen where the heat from the steam cause a giant pot of pasta to be dropped on the floor. Half of our cooked pasta just wasted and the even had just started. We quickly sent people to the store to buy more pasta but as time ticked on before they returned, we worried about the time it would take to boil all that new pasta.
I went out to check the food line and saw exactly what I had feared. All the chaffing dishes in the pasta line were down to the bottom. There was likely enough to feed about 10 people and we still had 1/2 the people to feed. I was panicked. When I got back to the kitchen, we all quickly prayed for God to intervene and He did. A few minutes later when the ‘shoppers’ arrived with the pasta, I went back out to check the status. Many people had gone through the line and the pasta still looked the same in all the dished. Each dish had enough to fill maybe one or two plates each (just like before). I went back to the kitchen to report and they didn’t believe me. The water was almost boiling and they were about to start cooking more. Others went out and witnessed the exact same thing. People were getting fed but the pasta was not reducing. By His intervention, we managed to feed everyone and there was still pasta left (not 12 baskets though), but enough to show us that He really does always provide.
We experienced this and were amazed. Yet plenty of times since then, I’ve still wondered, will He provide. Then I read that not only in Mark 6 did Jesus do this to feed 5000, but then in Mark 8, he did it again and fed the 4000. Then just a few short verses later, the disciples were concerned that they didn’t have enough to feed even themselves and Jesus responds “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?”
You see, if the disciples could witness miracles first hand, directly from the Master in the flesh… and still forget and loose faith shortly after. How much more can we become hardened to the miracles He does in our life. We each have experienced amazing things and looked up and thanked our Lord. Yet, sometime later, we struggle to believe that He will still provide in this ‘other’ moment, that He will still comfort us. How short is our memory?
Rest in this. God is our Father in Heaven. He is a perfect Father, He never makes a mistake, His answers are always the right answers. Even when we ‘expect’ a different response from Him, His response is accurate and just and perfect. While He will not always stave away the hunger pains or wipe away the tears, He will always provide just what is needed to bring Him glory.
Praise Him… Thank you Jesus…