I’m so thankful that our Westside friend Bucky Buchstaber will be with us this Sunday to share the message while I am at the Women’s Walk to Emmaus. Bucky is doing a work uprooting the tentacles of sex trafficking around the world. Building fish ponds, giving impoverished communities a source of income, removes the felt need of selling children into slavery. It’s brilliant and making a difference. Corner this man and hear extraordinary stories of God’s magnificence put on display. Talk about God taking a small thing, this man’s love for fly fishing, and turning it into something huge for the Kingdom!
Like the small amount of bread and fish in Mark chapter 8, multiplied unimaginably.
We all know what it is like to lack something. Not enough income to cover the bills. Not enough stamina to make it through the day. Not enough food to feed the family. Not enough gas to make it home. Not enough wine for the wedding. Not enough. That phrase alone is staggering in the weight it can bring to our hearts. We often feel we are “not enough” about any number of things.
But in this story, it is not just “not enough” that is the problem, it is scarcity -- there is literally a lack of resources. I think of those around us living on the streets, houseless, hopeless often. They are experiencing an immense scarcity. I think of times of famine when there literally was not enough to go around; and households without love where parents are suing their kids for slander.
There are only 7 loaves of bread and a few fish and somewhere around 4000 people. The provisions are scarce. The disciples having already seen Jesus feed a larger crowd, still have no idea what to do. They still don’t seem to catch Jesus’ bigger picture. And when there are scarce provisions, it is hard to see anything but that fact.
What does it look like to release or let go of scarcity? It looks like bringing what little we have to Jesus, to someone BIGGER than we are. It looks like identifying our meager faith and admitting that by bringing him what we do have and trusting Him with it. That’s what it looks like.
So, how might that play out in our lives? When have you had to release the little or nothing you had in order to receive what God offered?
I remember walking across campus at Asbury Theological Seminary in order to withdraw from classes. We had no money. No extra money to pay for school. I was heading to the admin office to drop out for the term in order to just work, save and hopefully return for another semester. We were releasing our scarcity for whatever God would do, believing our plan was the best plan, just drop out for a season. When I reached the office and told them that I was going to have to drop out for a semester, they said,
“Have you checked the balance in your account?”
“Balance?” I said. “What balance?” I had looked the day before. It was all zeros.
The admissions officer looked back and said, “You have received a gift and you have enough to register for all your classes.”
I was staggered. It turned out a friend, serving as a missionary in the Maldives had sent us money, and it had arrived just in time to pay the next semester. I still look back staggered at God’s grace.
Release what thing you are clinging to into the hand of God and let Him use it for His glory. Let go and cast those nets and watch God move. God has huge plans. There’s a multitude to feed.