Satan has been trying to get to me believe his lies about not having anything to offer the people that I am working with here in Manenberg. It’s not easy to fight them off but God reminded me of some good stuff this morning at church.
If you think about the poverty and injustice in the world today, the church will ALWAYS be the “little boy with two small fish in front of a huge crowd.” It is a HUGE problem all across our world, even possibly next door to us. If we could have solved all the poverty and issues in our world, don’t you think it would have already been fixed? There is enough money and resources in the world today that could have been compiled together but it would not do anything but harm and produce dependency.
So…What is it going to take to alleviate the things going on in our world today? Drugs, gangs, violence, prostitution, poverty, unemployment, education, etc. When we start to look at all of the issues and the enormity of it, we can develop the attitude that “we can’t do anything to fix it.” We can just throw our hands up and ignore that they are real issues, which a lot of people do, or we can respond differently.
We can look at the issue and look at what we have and go from there. Listen to what John says in John 6, when one individual saw what he had and went from there. This is a very familiar story to us but read it, thinking about the question, What did the boy have?
“ After this Jesus went away to the other side of the
Sea of Galilee, which is the . And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” John 6:1-14 Sea of Tiberias
So think about this story. 5000+ people are hungry, including Philip who has doubted that anything could be done. The only food that was available was 2 small fish and 5 loaves. You have probably 5000 families waiting to find food… This is enough food for maybe 2 families to share. This little boy could have taken the food and eaten it himself but instead, he gave what he had and let God do the rest! So often in our lives, including myself, we see that we only have very little so we just walk away thinking we can do nothing. I wonder what would happen if we would give that “little” to God. What would he do? This story is only mentioned in John’s gospel. It is told as a sign that God can do anything he wants to if we allow him. God wants to do miracles but I think a lot of times we don’t allow him to show up in our lives because we think we have to prepare first. Human effort gets us nowhere when it comes to things like this.
My prayer for you and for myself is that we would give the little and watch God do BIG things with it!! May we become confident in the power of God! Basically, let’s live a life that if God doesn’t show up and do something; we will look like a fool!!
I have been blown away in my time with some of the girls here in Manenberg when I have looked at the picture through the lens of God’s power rather than my own strength! I am seeing walls being broken down, hearts being healed of traumatic events in these girls lives, confidence being built, reconciliation being made. It’s such a beautiful picture, watching God put back together broken and torn hearts! J I am soo thankful that God decides to use me in the process!
Continue to pray for these girls! May they see the true love of the Father! May they see the restoration and redemption that only He can bring and chase after it!