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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“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.’ Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties.”—Mark 6:38–40 (NKJV)
Have you ever realized that your solution to a problem and God’s solution to that same problem is usually dramatically different? If not . . . you will!
This is exactly where the disciples find themselves here. Or rather, this is exactly where the Lord has led them to be. Thousands of men, women, and children had been following them all day. Before long hunger would set in, making the multitude more of a mob. To prevent this, the disciples strongly suggest Jesus send them away to go feed themselves.
That would have sounded like a good idea to me at the time. Feeding yourself wasn’t as easy then as it is today. Hunger hung like an unwelcome guest over an agrarian society that depended on prime conditions to produce. The disciples had their hands full feeding themselves, let alone thousands of others. So, sending them away seems to be a reasonable strategy. But Jesus does the opposite. He has them take inventory of what they had, which was five loaves of bread and two fish, and then instructs them to have the people sit in groups.
To the disciples, this doesn’t make sense. Everyone is just hungrier now. Their solution went unheeded and the Lord just seems to be making things worse. Until He does what only He can do: “And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. So they all ate and were filled” (Mark 6:41-42 NKJV).
Whose solution was better? Of course, we know Christ’s was! But beyond the obvious result of everyone being full and happy, a much greater blessing was bestowed through His way dealing with the problem—a blessing for the disciples and every follower of Jesus since. Through this, we learn we’re capable of so much more than we think through Christ. In the disciples’ thinking, which directed their solution, they were limited and unable. But what Jesus knew, and which guided His solution, was that as He worked through their obedience, they would see the impossible take place.
That’s always how it is, and that’s always the basis for God’s solutions to life’s problems. He leads us down a path we would never take on our own, because He wants us to see how much more we’re capable of in Him. If you’re wrestling with why God isn’t working in a way you think best, or doing what you believe He should do, stop wrestling and start resting in the fact that His way is wisest, and you’ll come through it seeing Him and your ability in Him in a much greater way!
Pause: How did the disciple’s solution differ from Christ’s?
Practice: Is there any area in which you feel as though God is on a different page than you? Today, in that area, pray that His will be done and not yours. Let go of control in that area and submit it to Him.
Pray: Lord, help me to rest rather than wrestle. Show me that Your way is wiser than mine and that I’m more capable in You than I can ever imagine.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.