Matthew 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” 33 The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” 34 Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35 Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
What’s ironic about this passage is the fact that the same situation emerged in the previous chapter – but with 5,000+ people instead of this 4,000. One would think they might have said, “Hey Jesus can you do that fishes and loaves thing again?” Nope. It’s like the feeding of 5,000 never happened. Their faith appears to quickly have gone back to square one.
I’d like to say I have a more durable faith but I’m not sure that’s true. For instance, I see weak faith in myself regularly as it relates to my preaching. I’m regularly second-guessing myself even when I have been prayerful in my preparation. Is this really the message I need to give? Is this faithful to the scriptures? Does this particular story or that particular illustration bring the point to life? What if this is all wrong? I act as if it all depends on me, on my preparation, on the visuals I choose, and so on. It’s easy for me to think myself into a pretzel and become paralyzed with anxiety and fear that I’m making a mistake.
Yet in my mind I know that the Lord has a way of making up for whatever shortcomings I have as it relates to preaching – or anything else. I need not worry, just do my best and let the Lord handle the outcomes. This morning I’m praying I can more fully embrace this truth. Lord, let it be so. Amen.