by Marilynn Chadwick
The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent. (John 6:29 NIV)
I grew up in an era when the threat of nuclear war loomed large. So my childhood television viewing was often interrupted by an annoying, high-pitched, 60-second blast and this announcement: “This is a test...of the emergency broadcast system...this is only a test.”
The Bible talks a lot about tests. A test shows our strengths and weaknesses. Any good coach or teacher tests their students. In today’s reading of John 6, Jesus gives a “pop-quiz” to his disciple Philip:
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 (John 6:5-6 NLT).
Philip replied that even if they worked for months, it would be impossible to feed all those people. True enough if one is looking at the problem from an earthly point of view. But Jesus wanted Philip to peek behind the veil. To look at things from heaven's vantage point. To trust him to bring heaven's resources to bear upon earth's need.
Jesus took the small offering of a young boy's lunch of five loaves and two fish. Looking to heaven—the source of his miracle—he gave thanks. Then he handed out food—as much as people wanted. He provided such an abundance there were baskets left over. Jesus's miracle feeding of the five thousand was a wow!
The same crowd who had seen the miracle later asked Jesus, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” I'm intrigued by Jesus’s answer, so I've chosen this verse as my watchword for today:
Jesus told them, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29 NIV).
The “work?” To believe. Maybe you’re facing a situation that looks impossible—especially when you consider your resources. Not enough money. Not enough time. Not enough strength, talent, training, or connections. Not enough _____________. Fill in the blank.
What would happen if you looked at your problem from heaven's vantage point? What if you believed Jesus wants to bring heaven's resources to meet your earthly needs? What would happen to your anxiety and fear if you rest assured that Jesus has “got this?” What if you believe in the one God has sent?
Trust Jesus. Give him your five loaves and two fish and see what he can do. Then, take a small step of faith in the direction you know he’s leading you. You can’t do everything…but you can do something.
Prayer: Lord, you know I’m overwhelmed with impossibilities. My plate is too full. Needs are too great. But with you, all things are possible. My work today is simply “to believe” that you will use all of heaven’s resources to solve my earthly problems.