I was reading the Luke version of the feeding of the 5,000 and I saw something in the disciples that I often see in me. You know the story. Jesus was teaching the disciples and a large crowd followed Him. It was late, McDonald’s wasn’t nearby, and the people were hungry. (It must have been really good teaching for the people to listen that long.)
The part that hit me is here:
Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish — unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”(About five thousand men were there.)
Luke 9:12-14 NIV
Do you see what I see? The disciples apparently already knew their inventory before they approached Jesus. They already knew it was late, there weren’t enough provisions, and they only had five loaves and two fish. They had already decided they were up against a wall with no options before they brought Jesus into the situation.
How many times do we do that? How many times do we count the cost before we consult the Creator? Don’t we many times limit what we think we can do because we’ve already decided we can’t do it? Aren’t there times when God’s plans are so much bigger than our plans, but we never get to His plans because we are clouded by the perceived obstacles?
Perhaps we need to read the end of the story more often:
But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Luke 9:14-17 NIV