God Uses The Ordinary To Perform The Extraordinary

God can do much with little

I have learned God uses the ordinary to perform the extraordinary. God created man from the dust of the ground. God didn’t need anything special or complicated. All he needed to create man was simple dirt. Christians all have a deep rooted desire to fulfill God’s purposes and make a difference in the world. We want to make a difference in our families, our churches, and our communities. Have you ever felt you had very little to offer God? You may feel like you don’t have any spectacular talent to offer God. You may not consider yourself a gifted speaker.

It is common for Christian people to fail to recognize the gifts they possess. I would like to suggest that you may have more to offer God than you think. God doesn’t need anything spectacular from you to perform the extraordinary. God can take the ordinary and perform the extraordinary. What God needs from you is an attitude that says, “God, whatever it is I have, is yours to use.” When you embrace that attitude, God can perform the miraculous from what may seem as very little.

An example from the Gospel of John

One of the great stories in the Bible gives us an example of God taking what seemed insignificant, and using it to perform the extraordinary. In the 6th chapter of John’s gospel, you can read of Jesus feeding over five thousand people. He did it with only five loaves of bread and two fishes. This story is found in all four Gospels of the New Testament. But, only in John’s gospel are we told the bread and fish were offered by a little boy. I would love to share some thoughts with you about this miracle. Take a look at John chapter 6 verses 1-13. Here is how the story reads in the New Living Translation:

Jesus feeds the multitude

After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” 

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves. (John 6:1-13 NLT)

We are God’s hands and feet

Wow! What an amazing story! Jesus took what seemed trivial and ordinary and performed the extraordinary! There are a few things from this story to consider. First, Jesus and his disciples were on a hillside surrounded by a multitude of hungry people. Today we are walking through a world filled with people who are hungry. We are surrounded by people looking for something that satisfies. They seek relief from the pain and emptiness life can bring. We are God’s hands and feet in today’s world. We have to do as Jesus did and have compassion on the world around us.

Jesus was testing his disciples

In this situation, Jesus asked his disciples where they could buy bread to feed the multitude. Jesus already knew the solution to the problem. Jesus wanted to see if his disciples knew the solution. The fact was, Jesus WAS the solution. Jesus told his disciples later in this chapter that HE was the Bread of Life. He told them whoever came to Him would never hunger again, and whoever believed in Him would never thirst. (John 6:35) Jesus is STILL the Bread of Life and the only one able to provide the nourishment the world needs. He is the answer to the world’s problems.

The disciples looked at the multitude of people around them. To them, it seemed like an impossible and hopeless situation. They wondered how they could possibly acquire enough bread to make a difference. Then, a little boy came upon the scene. The disciples soon discovered the little boy had fives loaves of bread and two fish. I have to use my imagination here. Maybe this little boy’s mother had sent him to buy some bread and fish for dinner. He may have been on his way home from the market when he came upon this situation.

The willingness of a boy

The wonderful thing about this story was this little boy’s willingness to give up everything he had. He handed over all five loaves and both fish to the disciples to use as they saw fit. He didn’t stop to think, “Wow…if I go home without this bread and fish, Mom is going to be mad!” He simply gave it up in faith. This is what we have to do when we offer ourselves to God. When we want to be of service to God, we can’t hesitate. We have to say to God, “God, I trust you, and whatever I have is yours to use.”

The disciples couldn’t imagine how they could make any difference  with so little. The disciple Andrew asked, “What good is this with such a huge crowd?” How many times have you realized a great need in your family or church and become overwhelmed by the problem’s magnitude? Sometimes we want to make a difference in the world, but we doubt we have enough. We think what we offer to God isn’t enough to make any sizable difference. Never worry what you have to offer God is not enough or not good enough. Just be willing to give yourself to God and let Him take care of the rest. The Bible says in Romans we should offer ourselves as a living sacrifice unto God. We may not think what we offer is enough. But, God doesn’t need quantity from us, he needs willingness.

More than enough

After Jesus took the fives loaves and two fish, He gave thanks for it. Jesus did not pray the bread and fish would be multiplied. He only gave thanks for what was offered. Jesus never doubted what was offered would be enough. When passed around, the bread and fish was enough to feed ALL the people until they were filled! The people didn’t snack, they were stuffed! Besides the people being filled, twelve baskets of leftovers were collected from what remained! That is how God works! When we offer what we have to God, the return ALWAYS exceeds the investment. When you share whatever you have with God, you will always get more back than you give! It is impossible to outgive God.

The boy’s blessing

Can you imagine the look on the little boy’s face when the disciples gave him the twelve baskets of fragments? The little boy was so willing to give up what little he had. The remaining bread and fish far exceeded the amount the little boy started with. I wonder what his Mom thought when he got home with all twelve baskets? Of course, nothing in scripture  suggests the little boy was sent grocery shopping by his mother. I just like to use my imagination.

Jesus took what seemed insignificant and ordinary, and performed the extraordinary. The miracle made a difference in the lives of over five thousand people! I urge you to never think you have nothing to offer God. You have plenty to offer God. God doesn’t ask for an abundance of talent or gifts from you. God only asks you to  be a willing vessel for Him to use and work through. If you give your all to God, He will take care of the rest, and your willingness to offer yourself to God will make a difference in the world around you. Never forget that God can take the ordinary and perform the extraordinary.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Mark

 

 

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