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It Takes a Willing Heart

June 1, 2022

It Takes a Willing Heart

June 1, 2022

Young Jewish boy walking down a street as part of a procession There he stood, a simple boy in the midst of a massive crowd. He was just one of many who had been chasing after probably the greatest celebrity who had ever passed by. Everybody was talking about it. Nothing like this had ever happened before in this little town. It was a big deal, a once in a lifetime event. Word about it had spread all around and people came from miles away hoping to catch a glimpse, hear him speak, see something magical, and witness the miraculous.

Compared to all of the excitement happening around him, this boy was rather insignificant. He was just another face among thousands in the crowd.

But all that changed the moment he was brought out of the crowd and taken to meet the very celebrity he had hoped to see.

Truth is, the boy was not selected because he was special or had an engaging smile. Rather it was because he had something that no one else in crowd had. Food. It wasn't much really, just five loaves of bread and two small fish.

John 6 doesn't tell us how the disciples figured out this boy had food. Maybe they were shouting to the crowd asking "Does anyone here have any food?" Maybe they made eye contact with anyone that had a bag—asking if it contained anything to eat. Either way, the disciple Andrew found the boy, and brought him, along with his lunch, to Jesus.

But Jesus took what people thought was insignificant and multiplied it to feed over 5,000 men, plus women and children. Everyone got to eat as much as they wanted. Jesus told them not to waste anything, and they ended up with 12 baskets of food left over. This is a story that has been taught to children since the very beginning of the church.

Consider for one moment what would have happened if the boy hadn't been willing to share his lunch. What if he had said, "This is my lunch. You can't have it!"  Or, what if Andrew had decided the boy didn’t have enough food to accomplish anything. What if Andrew had chosen instead not to bring the boy to Jesus?

As I reflect on this story, I see two people who made themselves available to Jesus. Andrew, who did what Jesus asked, even though he really only saw the impossibility of the situation. And the boy, who let it be known that he had food and willingly brought it to Jesus.

Remember of course, that the boy did not leave his house thinking, "I need to make sure I bring enough bread and fish to feed over 5,000 people." He had no idea God was going to use him and his lunch in such an amazing way. God often uses us when we least expect it.

When I was serving as a missionary in Spain, we tried all sorts of different ways to build relationships so we could share the Gospel. We tried starting conversations in the park, joining meet-up groups with people who had similar interests like cycling, or even doing consulting work with past engineering connections. But some of the most fruitful times of ministry came not as a result of our own initiatives, rather just being available when someone called and asked to meet for coffee, even late at night.

It is so easy for us as believers to think that we have to come up with ways we can do great things for God. But I am convinced that God just wants us to be willing and ready to be used by Him, whenever, however, and in whatever way He chooses.

We might think that we have little to offer, or that what we do doesn't really amount to much of anything. But in God's hands, our weakness is His strength. God has uniquely created us and gifted us with His spiritual gifts. He has prepared good works in advance for us to do. We just need to be willing and ready for whatever He has in store for us.