Here’s something in an old story that I’d never noticed before.
On one of those times when Jesus was teaching a crowd, they got to the end of the day and the disciples asked Jesus to send the people away so they could buy food. But rather than do that, Jesus told the disciples, “you give them something to eat”. Of course, they thought this was impossible because all they had were five loaves and two fish. But Jesus took what they had, gave thanks, gave it back to the disciples and they in turn gave it to the people. And more than five thousand were fed that day.
Here’s the thing: Jesus asked the disciples to give the people something to eat and that is what they did. The disciples fed the people! Sure, the miracle originated from the Lord, but Jesus gave the food to the disciples who in turn gave it to the people.
It strikes me that the Lord regularly asks us to do things that seem beyond our ability. Typically, we respond by saying something like, “that seems outright crazy; how could I possibly do that?” And we miss the point.
As long as we think it all depends on us, it really is impossible. But when we volunteer for service with God, the old rules no longer apply. Jesus starts with what we have, he works minor and major miracles, then gives us back some ‘next step’ things to do. Our job is to beat away disbelief, push through discomfort, and be brave enough to do what he asks of us.
He may not ask us to cater for five thousand, but he will stretch us to do more than we think we are capable of doing. Then we can marvel, not just at what he achieves through us, but also at the changes he makes in us. This is standard fare in the Kingdom of God. And it’s definitely food that will satisfy.