Bring it to God and prepare for a blessing.
My lettuce came up! In fact, ALOT of lettuce came up. It always amazes me when I begin to see the first little green leaf pop out from beneath that wet brown soil.
It reminds me that I can do everything I know to do but only God can bring life. I cannot make those seeds grow.
Mark 6:30-44 tells us the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. We know the story -- Jesus was teaching and a very large crowd had gathered to listen to Him. It was late in the day and His disciples came to Jesus reminding Him that it was a remote place and the people didn't come prepared with food - what were they to do? The disciples said that they didn't have the money to feed the crowd and were distressed because they had no answer to the problem.
They brought the problem to Jesus knowing He would answer their cry for help.
So in verse 38, Jesus said, How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see. The disciples went out and brought back the resources that they found- which was five small barley loaves and two fish.
In other words, gather the resources that you have available to you but bring them back to Jesus for the increase.
In verse 39 Jesus directed the disciples to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass and they did - the people sat in groups of 100s and in 50s. Then Jesus looked to the heaven broke the loaves and gave them to His disciples to begin passing out to the crowd. He then did the same thing with the two fish. Verse 42 tells us that they were full and did not go lacking.
Did you see what Jesus had the crowd do? Sit down and get ready for the blessing. Prepare for the answer to your prayer. The people sat - and got ready to be fed. They didn't see the answer, they had no idea where it would come from, but they did as they were told. In their blind faith they prepared for the answer to come.
Jesus then, even though He was the Son of God, looked to God for the answer. Only God could bring increase. Only God could bring life.
I learned so much from this passage. See, the increase didn't come at first - they had to do 4 things:
1. Bring the problem to God. The disciples knew of the issue and had compassion on the people but they went to Jesus for the answer.
2. Bring the resources that they had available to them to Jesus. For my lettuce plants, I bought the seed, the soil and the pot to plant the seeds in. I brought what I had just as the disciples gathered the resources they had.
3. The crowd was told to prepare, to sit down in groups and wait on the blessing. I prepared the soil, I planted the seed, and I watered every single day without seeing the answer. I looked everyday for those little green leaves - expecting but always amazed when they finally peek through.
4. Jesus Himself looked to God for the increase. God brings life. God answers prayer. We have no control over anything - we can't make things happen - we look to the heavens for the answer.
In addition - the increase didn't happen until these things were done. The disciples began passing the food to the crowd and it was multiplied. It didn't rain down fish and bread from heaven and then they were fed - it was multiplied as they, in faith, began to walk in the answer. And fed? They were fed until full! More than they needed - God is not a "barely get by God" - we can fully expect great and wonderful things!
When I think about the pandemic that we are facing - God is the ONLY one with the answer. Yes, He expects us to bring the resources that we have been given and listen to the direction from above but He expects us to bring to Him our problem then have faith and prepare for the answer to come.
God is a jealous God and will wait until He alone can receive the glory for the answer. Jesus made it a point to look up to the heavens in front of the crowd and the disciples so that they would know who answers prayer. In no way did He take the credit - we are to ask, prepare and give God alone the glory when the answer comes.
My prayer today:
Father God, we are facing something that is a bit overwhelming. We can get as overwhelmed as the disciples got while attempting to feed 5000 people! But we will follow the model laid out for us in the gospels. We will bring the problem to you, gather the resources that we have, give them to God, follow directions and sit in faith expecting you to answer, call out to You alone and will give You the glory when the answer comes. For You alone deserve the praise.
I adore You. Amen.