(Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Rachel Barnette, currently serving in Nepal, but this post is from Rachel’s time in India.)
“Who wants to preach tonight?”
We get there.
There: a Hindu village.
Hinduism is he dominant religion of India that emphasizes dharma with its resulting ritual and social observances and often mystical contemplation and ascetic practices. (Basically, they make and think everything is a god.)
And I’m going to preach to them about the only God?
What did I just commit to? I’m a new believer, about 12 weeks into my walk with Christ. I’ve read five books of the Old Testament and maybe half of Matthew. I should be on the other side, sitting in the crowd, listening to the message. I’m going to preach the Word to this village of Hindu men and women?
Well, this is going to take a miracle to even reach one of them. Maybe I’ll just share my testimony. It’s full of brokenness; I’m sure they’ll connect with me there.
No. I said I’d preach. So I’m going to preach.
As we worship with them in their language and then ours, the crowd fills in with men and women. Men and women intrigued by the seven white people singing in the middle of their village. Some sat, some stood close and others sat on their roof nearby.
“Next we have Rachel, and she’s going to give the message tonight.”
Well, this should be entertaining.
“I’d like to share with you about the man that saved my life…”
This is a very orthodox village. We aren’t even allowed to sway our shoulders as we worshiped. Everything I planned on sharing about myself wasn’t going to be acceptable.
So I decide to speak from Matthew 14, where Jesus feeds the 5,000.
There are many areas of this passage that I wanted to teach on and explain, but I stick to the one obvious:
“…and taking the five loaves and two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” -Matthew 14:19
Forget that Jesus just fed thousands of people.
Forget that Jesus just performed a miracle.
Focus on the breaking.
Jesus broke the loaves to feed the hungry.
He could have blessed the loaves and then made whole loaves multiply, but He didn’t. He broke the bread. It’s that simple.
It’s in our breaking that we feed others. We furnish something essential to develop areas in other lives. It’s through our pain and brokenness that we bring life to others.
I speak. I pray over them. And then I leave–headphones in and Bible in hand.
“And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces left over…” -Matthew 14:20
I heard, “My daughter, you missed the lesson.”
And it hit me.
He is doing the same thing with me. There I am, on my way back to the orphanage, with a basket full of broken pieces, unable to see the miracle that just occurred.
The disciples missed the miracle Jesus performed. They saw Him feed thousands, but they didn’t see the real miracle. They saw the obvious, but Jesus was teaching them a lesson. He had to send the baskets of BROKEN pieces onto the ship with them, in hopes they would understand.
And now He was doing that with me.
In the story, the disciples wanted to send all the people away. They saw it as impossible to feed all those people.
“But Jesus said, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.'” –Matthew 14:16
“And He said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have? Go and see.'” -Mark 6:38
Could you imagine?
5,000 starving people, and Jesus asks simply,
What do you have?
What do you have?
Jesus wants what we have.
He doesn’t ask us if we are capable, because we aren’t capable of creating miracles. He doesn’t ask us if we think it is possible; only through Him can the impossible happen.
He asks if we are willing.
You see, the disciples fed the hungry people, but they didn’t perform the miracle.
Jesus could have fed the hungry, but He made the disciples do it. Because He works through us, we just have to be willing. We just have to meet Him where we are, and then He takes over.
Because when we think impossible, He thinks possible.
So I ask you, whatcha got?