Do you often find yourself in situations where you are asking God to “get you out” instead of asking God, “What do you want me to get out of this?” The disciples were constantly watching Jesus do miracles. Every day was new. There were healings going on, the dead were rising, the blind were seeing, the deaf hearing, the cripples walking, storms were calmed. One day after another they saw Jesus doing these things and more in their midst.
Then, Jesus gave them the challenge – “You go in my power and authority and preach the gospel and do amazing things.” And they did! And upon their return both excited and exhausted, Jesus takes them aside for a little rest and it happened.
They didn’t escape the crowds, the crowds followed them and as he always did, Jesus welcomed them, healed many taught them and when it came time for dinner…well, that’s when the disciples were in a situation like ours. No food for the crowd, no money to buy food for the crowd, no store nearby to get food if they had money to buy food for the crowd Looking at an impossible situation, the disciple did what we often do; “…Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” (Lk 9:12) That is to say, “Get us out of this.”
But Jesus wanted them “to get something out of this.” (As God usually does, He allows us to come to the end of ourselves so we will turn to Him in trust and in turn He will grow our faith.) John 6:6 Tells us, “he [Jesus] already had in mind what he was going to do.” God is never without the resources to do what he needs to do, He simply wants us to come to that realization. The lesson didn’t come easy to the disciples either, but next time you’re in an impossible situation, don’t ask God to get you out of it, rather ask him, “Lord, what am I to get out of this?”
Dr. William Burnham is pastor of Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.