What can I do? Have you ever asked yourself that question? When looking at the needs of the world or your neighborhood or your family, do you ever feel absolutely helpless? Sometimes I do. When I hear about people who suffer under oppression halfway around the globe, when I hear about a friend who struggles with making ends meet, when a family member wrestles with a difficult decision, these are the times I wish I had the solutions they need, but so often I feel inadequate to offer even the basic comfort.
Sometimes I look at the needs of the people around me and feel it’s impossible to help, but that’s not the reality. Luke 1:37 reminds us that “nothing will be impossible with God.”
The disciples learned that in spectacular fashion. As they traveled with Jesus, crowds often followed them. In John 6, Jesus looked upon a crowd of about 5,000 people and recognized their need. He then suggested to his disciples that they find a way to feed them. Philip, incredulous, said what they were all probably thinking: “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little” (John 6:7).
That same sentiment often echoes in our minds today. You’ve undoubtedly been there—when you feel like even your best doesn’t even scratch the surface.
The good news is Jesus has a plan. John reveals to us in his recounting of this miracle that Jesus asked Philip to help “to test him, for he himself [Jesus] knew what he was going to do” (John 6:6). Jesus didn’t expect the disciples to fix the problem by themselves; his intention was to give them the opportunity to be part of his plan.
He gives us that same opportunity. The needs of those around us are great, and while we may not be able to provide all they require, we can find hope in the fact that we can offer them what we have.
In the disciples’ case, that was five loaves and two fish; in our case it may be consistent prayer, a listening ear, or an encouraging word. We should never worry that our offering is too small, but consider it a vital part in God’s bigger plan.
Has God presented you with a need to address? You can find the courage to help meet that need by remembering to trust that when God calls you to act, he will provide the resources needed to make the miracle happen.
*This story is found in John 6:1-14.