The First Step to a Miracle
By Rick Warren
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them …. So he began teaching them many things. By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. ‘This is a remote place,’ they said, ‘and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go … buy themselves something to eat.’ But he answered, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘That would take more than half a year’s wages!’” (Mark 6:34-37 NIV)
If you want God to do a miracle in your life, the first thing you have to do is admit that you have an unsolvable problem.
Mark 6:34-37 says, “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them …. So he began teaching them many things. By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. ‘This is a remote place,’ they said, ‘and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go … buy themselves something to eat.’ But he answered, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said to him, ‘That would take more than half a year’s wages!’” (NIV)
In this passage, we learn the three typical responses to an unsolvable problem in our lives: We procrastinate, we pass the buck, and we worry.
First, we procrastinate. It was already late in the day when the disciples brought the problem to Jesus. They had all day to figure out how to feed the 5,000 people. When we have a problem we can’t solve, we just keep putting it off. We delay. We pretend it doesn’t exist. We look the other way.
What problem are you avoiding in your marriage? What problem in your finances have you procrastinated about? What problem in your body are you putting off addressing? Procrastination only makes problems worse.
Second, we pass the buck. We blame other people. Instead of dealing with the problem, the disciples wanted to send the people away. They thought, “Hey, we didn’t invite these people out here. We didn’t promise them food.” So they didn’t take responsibility for the need. Have you ever done that with a problem in your life?
The third thing we do is worry. We fret, we stew, we get anxious, we get stressed out. When Jesus told the disciples to feed the people, their anxiety went into overdrive. I can just imagine Peter doing the cost analysis. “Five thousand people! How are we ever going to get the food and keep it hot and distribute it and then clean it up?”
Just like we do when we face a seemingly unsolvable problem, the disciples procrastinated, they passed the buck, and they worried. What’s the problem with this picture? They’re standing next to Jesus — the guy who can easily turn stones into bread if he wanted to, yet when he tells them to do something, they say, “Lord that’s practically, financially, and humanly impossible.”
Has God ever asked you to do something impossible and you replied, “Lord, I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the education.”
God wants you to do the impossible because he wants to stretch your faith. When you have an unsolvable problem, just admit it, and then wait to see how God can turn it into a miracle.
Talk It Over
- What is a problem in your life that seems unsolvable?
- What do you think God wants you to do instead of worrying about that problem?
- The Bible says God will never give us more than we can handle. What do you think about that?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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