It was a dream. We were having a big event at our house. Everyone was there, all four of our kids, their families – everyone.
The house was a mess. There were piles of laundry, crumbs under the table, and stuff on the counters.
I asked for help, but everyone had another job or reason they couldn’t. So I plowed in and started to work with a sinking feeling, knowing it would be too little, too late.
Sure enough, there were still crumbs under the table when people arrived.
Ready or not. They were ready. I was not.
We have a large family, so a Saturday night dinner can be a big event. We love people and people need food. Jesus knew that. He used a crowd to teach His disciples about expansion. He gave them a clear visual of what it looked like and how to handle it.
My mother-in-law did the same for me. She taught me how to feed a crowd and retain my sanity. It was a valuable life lesson! The Lord knew I would need it.
She showed me how to get the table ready, have the right groceries on hand and how to use recipes that were easy, delicious and could expand to feed added guests. Most of all, she taught me to be prepared ahead of time.
I learned. I helped her with Christmas meals, birthdays, weddings, whatever occasion called for food and fun. It took a few years, but I like doing big events now. If I’m prepared.
The disciples were amazed at the crowds who came to hear Jesus. Their journey hadn’t started with a multitude. One was introduced to Him by his brother. Another was a tax collector. One sat under a tree, unaware how his life would change in one meeting.
They didn’t plan to feed thousands.
Whenever I wonder what the heck is going on, I know I’m in a new place. I’m in the middle of a new wineskin in the making.
It’s a new place with new requirements. I look around and say, “Hey! Could someone help me out here?”
The nature of this place over-extends all I’ve offered in the past.
I look around me, spying out what I don’t have and might need, just like the disciples who looked around, frantic, trying to figure out how to do what Jesus just said.
“You feed them.”
The answer was right there. It wasn’t in what they didn’t have. It was in what they didn’t see. One disciple made a desperate stab. Turned out he was right.
A young boy had some food. They didn’t.
This is a key for expansion.
I’m asking Him to help me see what He’s placed in my life right now. Not something I have to drum up. But something I need to acknowledge is already there. I honor what He’s put in my life by recognizing its potential to become more than I expected.
He puts pressure on my ability. Not to be mean, but so my capacity will grow.
I still have a few messes, but can’t let them stop me from offering my current capacity to Him for a multiplied one.
I’ll look at that community college catalog. Maybe there’s a class that will help my writing. Maybe there’s someone I know and love who will critique my work. Maybe a multitude waits for the very small thing I put into action today.
It’s more than a stab in the dark. It’s His principle for expansion.