Bringing the fish
God does bizarre things. He solves problems in ways that sometimes seem convoluted, confusing, and down-to-the-last-second crazy. The answer rarely comes in the straightforward way we’d imagined, yet it comes. Stories of these miraculous solutions abound — the check (or tax refund or bonus or raise) arrives the day the bill you thought you couldn’t pay is due. Doctors mention scary words like aneurysm and cancer and inoperable — so we do the tests and pray and suddenly, although the doctors can’t explain it, the condition is gone or the symptoms weren’t what they seemed. We lose a job and panic, worried about how to provide for our families, but then another, better opportunity presents itself and we wonder why we didn’t leave the old job sooner. He always delivers — somehow, some way.
For years I have read the Bible stories about the fishes and the loaves. Jesus fed 4,000 people with seven loaves and a few fishes, and then fed 5,000 from five loaves and two fishes. He’s not limited in His ability to provide, nor is the percentage of increase the same each time. But whatever it is, whatever He does, it’s always enough — and usually it comes with leftovers, too. Because we’ve read these stories in the Bible, and witnessed the way God has provided in our lives, no one has to convince us it’s possible. We know.
Sometimes, though, we overlook one fact. Someone had to provide the fish.
Sure, He can create something from nothing, and there are plenty of times that He does. But, more often, I think, God works with what we bring to Him. We must stretch our hands forth with our offering, literally or symbolically. We must plant a seed of giving with our tithe and offering money. We must put our own egos and desires aside in order to make room for His presence. We must offer Him our whole selves — bodies, heart, mind and soul — and mean it when we ask Him to use us. God will multiply. He will create. He will increase — when you give him what you have to start with. Don’t ever fall into the enemy’s trap of believing what you have is not enough, that God won’t come through because of your failings and weaknesses. Stand tall, and speak out loud: “Lord, I may not have much, but I come to you with the fish. Multiply it. Do your thing. I believe.”