The twelve (disciples) came to Him (Jesus) and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down… Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. Luke 9:12-17 (NIV)
The disciples had a logical and expedient solution to the problem they faced regarding a very large crowd of people needing to eat. The resolution they proposed was to have the people take care of their own needs. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do. However, the disciples missed one small point–they neglected to ask the Source of all knowledge standing right in front of them what He thought the best solution would be!
I don’t know about you, but I find myself making this same mistake on a pretty regular basis. I am a man of reasonable intelligence, and I am able to make decisive decisions on the fly, but this can steer me into dangerous waters if I don’t slow down, evaluate, and temper my response with prayer. Snap decisions very often are a response of the flesh and leave no room for God to do the miraculous. Patience and prayer are the keys.
The other thing I notice is that the Lord Jesus made the crowd sit down in an orderly fashion. Have you ever noticed that our God is a God of order? Let all things be done decently and in order (1 Cor 14:40). Whenever I’m feeling stress, chaos, and confusion, I can be reasonably assured that the Lord is not at work. In those moments it is best to pray and ask Jesus what He sees as the best course.
Life gets so busy. There are many things competing for our time and attention. The urgent pushes out the necessary, and before we know it, doing supersedes being. In the end, I learned it’s best to replace constant moving and doing for sitting at Jesus’ feet. We can be doing good works and be part of noble causes, but I believe God is more concerned with who we are rather than what we do.
I encourage you to make a conscience decision today to slow down and spend more time praying through decisions and less time running through life. If we can do that, we will have more sweet fellowship with God and can better reflect Him to the world around us.
Today’s devotion is an excerpt from the writings of SDPD Chaplain Dale Lowrimore. Used with permission.