I'd just broken up a fight between my sons. They'd been playing a video game and come to an impasse that resulted in flaring tempers and the stubbornness of will they inherited from my husband and myself. I made them shut off the Xbox and find something else to occupy their time for a while. Then, I sat down at my desk, where my Bible was waiting.
I almost closed the Bible and went upstairs to cry. It had been that kind of day, the kind of day where my children's inability to be kind to one another feels like the heaviest burden I've ever carried. I know, this isn't true, but it was feeling very true, and I was exhausted. I was behind on a handful of personal projects. The kitchen needed a thorough cleaning. I needed to check Haydn's geography workbook and make spelling and vocabulary lists for the new week. So, yeah, I almost closed the Bible, my brain too fuzzy to concentrate on scripture.
Instead, I took a deep breath and dove in. This is what I read:
When Jesus got the news, he slipped away by boat to an out-of-the-way place by himself. But unsuccessfully—someone saw him and the word got around. Soon a lot of people from the nearby villages walked around the lake to where he was. When he saw them coming, he was overcome with pity and healed their sick.
Toward evening the disciples approached him. “We’re out in the country and it’s getting late. Dismiss the people so they can go to the villages and get some supper.”
But Jesus said, “There is no need to dismiss them. You give them supper.”
“All we have are five loaves of bread and two fish,” they said.
Jesus said, “Bring them here.” Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation. They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand were fed.
Yes, Jesus, I prayed. Yes. Yes. Yes. This is me. I have only as much patience as your disciples had fish. My loaves of compassion are limited. I don't see how we're going to manage this - this raising and teaching of boys, this running of a household, this writing of novels, this seeking after you always always always. My energy is no more than two loaves and five fish.
I need you to multiply my resources. I can't do this, but you can.
He can, friends. I am scared and tired and frustrated, but He is not. I can't succeed, not so long as my efforts are my own. But He can.