Five Loaves

Life has been kind of stressful as of late. My wife and I got married this past July, and at the end of November, we found out that she was pregnant. While that’s definitely cool and we’re excited, it’s also a lot sooner than we’d planned, and to be very frank, we don’t feel financially ready to grow our family just yet. Between student loans, car payments, projects that have to be done on our house, work that needs to be done on the car, and many other things, financial life is very tight right now, and looking into the future, we’re not sure how we’ll be able to make ends meet once the little one arrives. Which is kind of scary to be honest.

The enemy has been trying to feed me with a very typical “solution” for when things get tight – the temptation to stop tithing. While I will admit that not giving God His piece of our income can sound appealing on the surface, in reality, it’s fraught with problems – if we were to do so, we would essentially be telling God that He isn’t capable of providing for our needs, so we must step in to remedy the situation ourselves. Which is an incredibly bad idea.

Lately, I’ve been reading through the book of Matthew in the mornings as I get ready for work, and Friday morning as I read Matthew 14:13-21, I realized something. During certain times in our lives, God brings us to a place where the resources we have are incapable of meeting the needs that stand before us. This doesn’t mean explicitly financially, but can also involve talent, time, knowledge, courage, or whatever. At those times, we have two choices – walk away from what lies before us, or trust that God is able to make up the difference.

When facing a difficult situation, the problem typically comes when we see things solely from a human perspective – when we do so, all we can see is the gap between what we have and what we need. From the Apostles’ eyes, they looked at the impossibility of feeding over 5,000 men (plus their wives and children) with what amounted to a mere five dinner rolls and two fish. And when that happens, all we can do is what the Apostles wanted to do – walk away in defeat.

However, when we add God to the equation we’re facing, we allow Him to take care of the gap between “have” and “need.” When Jesus looked at the same exact situation as the Apostles, instead of seeing the impossibility of what lay before Him, He thanked God for His provision, blessed those meager resources, and provided not only enough to make up the difference, but even to end up with extra!

Same situation, but two totally different perspectives. And, two totally different results.

I know that God has called us to be parents at this particular junction of life, and in doing so, that He’s not going to leave us hanging. And even though sometimes things will seem impossible, we just need to trust Him and His provision for what we need – to trust His ability to turn dinner for one into meals for a multitude.