“Food” Miracles – Trust without seeing

BreadI’ve been reading a lot lately of the “food” miracles – where the disciples come to Jesus and tell him the crowds need to leave so they can go eat. He rocks their world them by telling them to feed them (Matthew 14 and Matthew 15) instead.  What I have to admit first is that it took me a long time to realize these were 2 separate instances – not just different tellings of the same story (one is 5000, the other 4000).

But what I wanted to share was that these stories teach us about trust and obedience.  When they started handing out the food to the crowd I don’t believe it was all there – that Jesus didn’t pray and suddenly (or with a bang/poof) it all appeared.  My understanding is that they started out with just a little food and it seemed to grow over time.  That each disciple started out with less than half of a loaf of bread when they went out to the crowd.  That as they handed out the food there was always more to give – it just kept stretching more and more (do you think they were amazed and filled with joy while it was happening or were too caught up in activity to realize what was going on).

When the story began it was a crisis – the people were in need and the disciples we’re overwhelmed.  When the story ends there are more leftovers than what they started with.   But one of the keys is that this wouldn’t have happened if the disciples hadn’t trusted Jesus  and acted in obedience.  It was clear that they didn’t see or understand what Jesus was doing – otherwise they would have asked him for a miracle in the beginning.  That they only experienced the miracle as it happened (and maybe only when picking up crumbs).

I wonder if there is a lesson here for you and me.  I wonder if in life often the miracles – the active presence of God – happen in the midst of walking in trust and obedience.  That at the beginning of the story we don’t really know where it’s going to end.  If you’re like me you probably will be ignorant to what is going while you are in the middle of it.  It will only be later, after it happens, that you realize what God has done (to the point you and I could miss it).

In Psalm 19 it talks about a lamp at our feet.  The imagery is of darkness all around except for lighting the path immediately in front of us.  That we can see the next step – but nothing else.  The only way forward is by trusting (which often is expressed through obedience) that he’s leading us in the right direction.  I don’t know about you – but I often find myself in the position lately where I have to trust.  Where it’s become clear to me that I can’t do it – I desperately need God’s help. I hope that I too make the choice to trust and obey – even though I don’t know what’s going to happen…

Categories: Bible Thoughts

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