When I first read the scripture from John that I just read, I wondered why we were back to the time when Jesus was teaching the people and performing miracles. After all, didn’t we just touch on those stories around Easter? However, after thinking about it and reading what different pastors had to say about the scripture in their children’s sermons, I realized there is more to this scripture than just teaching and performing miracles. I am not saying that hearing the scripture about those things is not relevant for it is. We need to remember who Jesus was and what he was doing before Easter arrived. With that being said, let us revisit that part of John 6. So as Jesus went up on the mountain with his disciples, the people who had been listening to him and had heard about the miracles he performed followed Him up the mountain. The question of how to feed the multitude of people quickly arose. As Jesus was asking his disciples what they should do, they were puzzled and knew that it would take more than 6 months’ pay to be able to buy enough food. Andrew told Jesus that he saw a boy in the crowd who had 2 fish and 5 barley loaves. Jesus told the disciples to tell the people to sit down. The boy was asked if he would share his food. The boy must have said yes for then Jesus gave thanks for the loaves and fish, and the 5000 were fed and the leftovers were gathered which amounted to 12 baskets full. First thing to remember is that the boy shared what he had and thus thousands of people who would have gone hungry were fed. Sharing is good. I was one of the people that helped with the food drive on the 16th. There was a lot of food to share, to give to the folks that came to the drive. At times it seemed like the supply was unending. People were getting more food out of the truck and van again and again. We had enough to take care of about 175 households with a few leftovers for us to take home. It was a hot day, we worked in the sun but it was so worthwhile to hear all the thanks from the people that received the food. I heard many times how much help the food we gave them was. Sharing is good.
Next, think of the abundance that came out of the 2 fish and the 5 loaves. Abundance is a word that means you have more than you need. Abundance is like a bucket overflowing with water, the stars in the sky, meadows of beautiful flowers, the many grains of sand on a beach so many things that God creates. At the food drive, there seemed to be an abundance of packages of cookies that came from the van. Just when you thought there wasn’t anymore, more was found. We had an abundance of cookies and God has an abundance of love for each one of us.
Which brings me to what came to mind when I read a children’s message about John that had a different twist to it.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Have there been times when you had so much on your plate you don’t even know where to begin? Have you ever felt like you are being pulled in so many different directions?
I know that I can say that yes, I have been there, I have felt that, I have just wanted to find a quiet, dark place to curl up into a ball and pretend that all that is going on will just take care of itself. But, being an adult(most of the time) I know that whatever it is that needs to be taken care of will not just go away or take care of itself. So that is the time when one must pull up the big girl or boy pants and just handle it. But, do we have to just handle it?
Let us go back to the scripture. First, Jesus is on the mountain with 5000 people and He needs to figure out how to feed these people who have been listening to what He has been telling them. Then after feeding all those people, He realizes that all those people have realized that He is the prophet that was supposed to come into the world. They are so happy when they realize this, that they are coming to take Him by force to make Him their king. He goes back up on the mountain to get away for this isn’t what is supposed to happen. Next, the disciples go down to the sea, get in the boat, and start going to Capernaum without Jesus. After going a few miles, a storm comes up, the sea is rough and the wind is blowing. Then they see Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat which terrifies them for they don’t know who He is at first. When He says “It is I; do not be afraid.” They took Him into the boat and they continue going across the sea and quickly come back to land. They are safe and Jesus is with them. Talk about being pulled in different directions and Jesus handled it with the grace that is Him. Would we be able to handle any given problem that was thrown at Jesus that day ourselves?
Maybe yes, most likely no. I think what we need to keep in mind is I said we just need to handle it ourselves. Do we need to handle whatever is thrown at us ourselves? Most certainly not! Why? Because if we believe in God, believe that Jesus came on this earth first to teach, to perform miracles to show the people that He could handle the big problems and could handle any problem, then all we need to do whether the problem is big or small is to have the faith. If we have the faith and we ask for help then the master of all problem solving is right there with us and with His help we are able to solve and take care of the problem before us.
I think it is part of being human that tells us; “You know I can just take care of this by myself.” But then something is added to that first thing you think you can handle yourself. Then something else is added and before you know it you are hiding in a dark place curled up in a ball hoping it will all take care of itself.
Rather than letting things get to that point where you are curled up in a ball, wouldn’t it be smarter and much less stressful if you just asked for help in the beginning. After all, God is just a prayer away. He even already knows what is going on, but is just waiting to see how you will handle the situation that you are in.
Things to take from today’s scripture.
Sharing is good.
Enjoy the abundance that shows itself in our lives but most importantly remember the abundance of love that God has for each of us.
God is there to help us with the problems of life and it doesn’t matter how big or how small they are. We just need to ask for His help. It could be that talking with God will be all that it takes to fix the problem.