Sure, that describes the disciples in our Bible reading on the Feeding of the 5,000 today, but it also describes you, doesn't it? Have you ever felt like that? Overwhelmed? Jesus has a lesson for us. In this famous miracle account (I'd recommend you pick up your Bible and read it - Mark 6:30-44), Jesus shows so clearly how our God does the impossible.
Yes, life might seem like it's too much. It is - for us. But our God does the impossible. In the Bible, we're told that Jesus asked the disciples to feed the people to "test" them, fully knowing what he was going to do. He wanted to see and wanted them to see how they would react, where they would look for help. There were more than 5,000 people there and one lunchbox of food. "No way," the disciples thought. But our God does the impossible and Jesus fed those 5,000+ with just five loaves and two small fish. Impossible, right? Exactly. That's our God.
So when obstacles come up in your life, realize they are tests - opportunities for you to see where you will turn. Your budget is tight. What are you going to do? Where are you going to look? Your relationship is bad. What are you going to do? How will this get fixed? Your family member is sick. What are you going to do? How will you make things better?
We can learn from the story here - we can't fix those things - not on our own. Sure God tells us what we can do to improve all those things, but the solution does not and can not come first from us. It comes from God.
But those are only the flesh wounds. The real problems are much deeper - problems like our sin and God's holiness. They don't mix. The wages of sin, the Bible says, is death. And yet we were born in sin, inherited from our parents all the way back to Adam and Eve - and we had the propensity and the desire and the skill to sin. But, that's the only way to be born, right - a mom and a dad? Our God does the impossible and Jesus was "conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary." God did the impossible and Jesus was born without sin. And he lived without sin. But we still had ours - and ours deserved death - so he died in our place. He did what was impossible for us to do. And he gave it all to us.
So we have reason to trust him and know that he can do and does the impossible still. Check out this article next week for more on that!
Rev. Jonathan Scharf is pastor of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church in Covington. Full sermons and more information can be found at www.abidinggrace.com.