Filet O Fish

While many people are spending the month of January thinking about their diets and budgets, I’ve personally committed to New Thru 30, a YouVersion New Testament reading plan created by Elevation church. So you read through the New Testament in 30 days, New Thru 30, get it? So it’s January 23rd and I’m on day 7. I’ve read through Matthew, Mark, and am now reading through Luke. While reading the same two stories, for the second time, I noticed something (that’s right, it took me two times).filet o fish

In Mark 6, starting around verse 30 a familiar story begins. Jesus is hanging out with his disciples and a huge crowd of people, 5,000+, teaching them about the kingdom of heaven. The day wears on and his disciples go to Jesus and basically say, “Ummm, the people will need to eat. There’s no food here. Maybe you should send them out to McDonald’s or something so they have dinner?” Jesus looks at them and says “You feed them.” Uh…with what? The disciples knew they didn’t have enough food for all of these people, and they surely didn’t have the money to go out and buy 5,000+ people dinner. Jesus finds out from the disciples that in their possession they have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

We know the story right? Jesus blesses the small amount of food, breaks it into pieces, and gives it to the disciples for them to pass out to all of the people. The disciples handed out enough food that evening to feed everyone and walk away with 12 doggy bags (that’s a lot of leftovers). Amazing right? How cool for the disciples to be able to witness and participate in an awesome miracle?! I figure when people witness God’s miracles they must automatically have unfailing faith……and then we turn to Mark 8.

Seriously, just turn your bible a page or two and you will find something pretty funny in Mark 8. At this point Jesus has been hanging out with his disciples and another large crowd for three days. Jesus this time goes up to his disciples and says “So they’re all out of food. I can’t just send them away, they’ll probably faint from hunger on their way home.” His disciples reply with “What are we suppose to do about it?”. OK, maybe not exactly like that, but close enough. I imagine Jesus starts off the next line with a shake of his head and a sigh, “How much bread do we have?” Almost like, “Really guys? I just did this, not long ago, 5,000 people, remember? We had leftovers? We all ate until we were full? Remember?”

Didn’t the disciples remember what Jesus did? Shouldn’t they have had faith to say “Jesus we know you can feed them, can we do that bread and fish thing again?” Do I remember the times that God has so obviously been working in my life? Do I have strong enough faith to say “OK God, I know you got this.” While reading the beginning of Mark 8 makes me laugh at the disciples, I also had to laugh at myself. My ability to  forget God’s blessings is remarkable and my dependence on myself is laughable.

I would like to think that after witnessing God at work in such a remarkable way that my faith would be strong. That I would never doubt. That I would never again depend solely on myself. The truth is that I have seen God at work, I have been blessed by Him, and many times I remain to lean on my own understanding. I pray that my dependence would be on Him, and not of myself. I pray that not only do I remember the blessings God has shed upon me, but that I remember his faithfulness through all things. His faithfulness to never leave me, to love me always, and to forever be a Father who provides for his child.

Being a Child in Faith

Blog- Chlid in FaithHeaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back is written by Pastor Todd Burpo. In a super quick synopsis, his 3 1/2 year old son, near death, goes into surgery. As time goes by his son Colton begins to reveal to his parents that when in surgery he was in Heaven. Throughout the next couple years that follow Colton fills his parents in on details that are more accurate than any preschooler would know.

Did he really go to Heaven? Was it a vision? Was it a dream? Do we have a word for what it was? I don’t have the answer to that, but whether or not he was truly in Heaven, Colten has a way of looking and talking about our Lord in such a simplistic way that it is absolutely beautiful.

“Well Jesus told me he died on the cross so we could go see his Dad.”

In my mind’s eye, I saw Jesus, with Colton on his lap, brushing past all the seminary degrees, knocking down theological treatises stacked high as skyscrapers, and boiling down fancy words like propitiation and soteriology to something a child could understand: “I had to die on the cross so that people on earth could come see my Dad.”

Colton’s answer to my question was the simplest and sweetest declaration of the gospel I had ever heard. I thought again about the difference between grown-up and childlike faith.¹

I too began to think about the difference between grown-up and childlike faith. To have childlike faith is to fully except something without question, or even need for doubt. Childlike faith is not needing to worry about if or when God will provide, because there is no doubt that He will.

 Grown-up faith is one that requires work. Grown-up faith asks God to prove Himself. This may not always be a direct question or demand from us, but we ask God to prove Himself in times of anxiousness. When trials have occurred I’ve looked up and said, “Ok, now’s the time I need you. When are You going to fix this?” Childlike faith is knowing that God is already in it, He hasn’t left you, He doesn’t need to prove Himself by doing a “quick fix”. Really, with a childlike faith we will have no need for anxiety or worry because our complete trust and faith will be in the Father who, to put it in 3 year old terms, loves us so so so much.

 I pray that I can continue to keep it simple and focus on the basic truths of God’s love for me. We may not ever be able to fully grasp how much God loves us, but I think the closer we get to understanding, the more childlike our faith becomes. I am God’s daughter and He gave of Himself so that His little girl could be with Him. Awesome.

¹Burpo, Todd, et al. Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s  Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. 2010, Thomas Nelson. p.111.