When overwhelming becomes an opportunity to love…

“As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

Matthew 14: 15-17

This well known account of Jesus’ exchange with his disciples came to mind this morning on my drive to work. While I won’t go into a ton of detail as to what prompted this thought, I will say it has much to do with trying to wrap my brain and heart around the current crisis on our southern borders. I understand it’s a complicated issue. I understand there is no easy solution.

I read an article last night that has been circulating on the internet the last couple of days. It’s a newsletter piece James Dobson shared with his audience after he visited the border.

“Doctors and medical staff are overwhelmed by their patient load. Remember that word, ‘overwhelmed.’ It describes every aspect of the effort to deal with the situation there.”

He also said this…”we have met a worldwide wave of poverty that will take us down if we don’t deal with it. And it won’t take long for the inevitable consequences to happen.”

As I thought more about all this, I remembered the Sunday message from church. When trying to determine next steps, no matter what hard situation we are trying to wrap our brains around, the first thing “we the people” need to do is “get Jesus’ vision”. Which is “a new kingdom filled with and run by new people who are becoming more Christ-like because they are deeply in love with their Savior King.”

Our pastor went on to list five mistakes the church is making.

It was the fifth one he shared with us that came to mind this morning:

“We have left the available power of the Holy Spirit untapped.”

The disciples’ knee jerk reaction as to how they could best help the 5000 people who had come to listen to Jesus share a message of hope and love was to send them away. And, their reasoning was perfectly logical.
1. We are in a remote place and we don’t have enough resources.
2. It’s too late to help them right now.

The disciples looked at the crowd in front of them and were completely overwhelmed. Sending them away to find their own food was the only option they could see.

But Jesus.

He invited his disciples to tap into a power that was far greater than their natural eyes could see. He invited his disciples to walk by faith and not fear. All they saw was the impossibility of the situation. But Jesus saw an opportunity to put His LOVE into action. Without Jesus’ help the situation would have been impossible.

But Jesus.

“When you speak, confusion fades
Just a word and suddenly I’m not afraid
Cause you speak and freedom reigns
There is hope in every single word You say

I don’t wanna miss one word You speak
Cause everything You say is life to me
I don’t wanna miss one word You speak
Quiet my heart, I’m listening

When sorrows roll and troubles rage
You whisper peace when I don’t have the words to say
I won’t lose hope when storms won’t break
You keep your word and your promises will keep me safe

Your ways are higher
You know just what I need
I trust you, Jesus
You see what I cannot see”

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