35 When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and it is already quite late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But He answered them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” 38 And He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” And when they found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 And He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.41 And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. 44 There were five thousand men who ate the loaves.
- Mark 6:35-44
The past year I have held on to hope that God will bring this dream to realization. I have prayed, fasted, and pleaded for Him to show me how all of the puzzle pieces will come together when I only see a blurry shadow of the bigger picture. I am not savvy enough or wealthy enough to make a way to France, buy a multi-room house, turn it into a bed & breakfast, and make it a sustainable business.
What’s more is, I struggle with issues of approval. I tend to think rather lowly of myself. Whether it is from mommy/daddy issues, bullying in grade school, or being a college dropout, the root of it is sin. I struggle with sin, and I doubt that God can use me to lead well and impact others for the Kingdom.
Many times, I feel as though I am the least intelligent person in the house. I have mentally referred to the Chateau Sursi (our B&B) team as “the chef, the authors… and Brad” because so often I feel as though I bring nothing to the table. Funnily enough, and Self flagellation aside (see what I did there?), much of this is true.
You see in the scripture above, the disciples were a lot like me. After a long day in a desolate place, they wanted Jesus to send the people away to go and buy food because he had been preaching and healing all day. Jesus’ response was “YOU feed them.”
The disciples immediately began taking inventory of what they had. They determined that they did not have enough money to buy food for everyone. So Jesus asks what food they have and they came up with 2 small fish and 5 thin barley loaves.
Jesus then calls them to seat the multitude in eating groups of fifties and hundreds, and tells them to begin distributing food. Again, they only had 2 small fish and 5 thin barley loaves, not even enough to feed themselves… but they responded in obedience.
I don't have to imagine the doubts and thoughts that went through their heads as they grasped to understand and even try to make things work because they are the same doubts that reverberate with me today. Yet after all was said and done, everyone had their fill and there was food left over.
The disciples were not capable of feeding the masses. In fact, it is likely the people also had no idea of the miracle that happened that day. This miracle was for the sake of the faith of the disciples and their call to obedience.
I am able to take some comfort in knowing that I am not the smartest, most capable person in the house. I don’t have to be. Jesus has called me to move my family, nuclear and newly extended, to France where we will host people from all over the world to come and find rest while we love them as fiercely as God empowers us. We will distribute our fish and loaves, as Jesus supplies from His provision.
Lord I believe, but help me in my unbelief.