Have you ever been simply exhausted? Have you ever felt like nothing of value can come out of your ministry because you are at the point where you have nothing left to give?
Check out Mark 6:30-44 where Jesus fed the 5,000 men plus women and children. This is easily one of Jesus’ most famous and greatest miracles recorded. However, look at verses 31-33 leading up to the miracle: “Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them.”
As a missionary, I read this and can literally feel inside of me the frustration that the disciples must have felt. They had been going all day like crazy every day to the point that they didn’t even have time to eat, and Jesus had finally given them permission to rest. Anytime a vacation or a free day is mentioned, I often feel my heart and spirit running for dear life to that place of rest. Then…15-20,000 people show up. And Jesus has compassion on them.
“Really, Jesus? Have compassion on us!” I can hear the weary disciples say.
However, there is something amazing that I saw this morning. One of Jesus’ greatest miracles came out of a place of exhaustion. Jesus was tired – physically, emotionally, mentally. However, He didn’t close Himself off to the miracle. He could have chosen to send the crowds away. He chose, instead, to engage in the opportunity at hand. Because of that, thousands of people were able to experience His love, truth, and provision.
What if we had the same attitude? What if even in moments when we feel that we have nothing left to give or that we are about to give up hope, we could still expect a miracle? The truth is, when I read in the New Testament of miracles, they nearly always come out of a time of desperation of some sort. Someone has been in jail, and God sends an angel to rescue him. What if he had never been in jail? He would have never needed to be rescued by the angel. Someone is broke, but God makes the lame man walk instead. What if that disciple would have had money? Would the lame man ever have walked? Someone’s been sick for a long time, and they have an encounter that changes his or her life. Would the miracle have meant as much if the years of suffering hadn’t taken place?
What is a miracle if it doesn’t come from a difficult time? So often we long for the supernatural to take place, but we don’t want to go through the painful process that makes the miracle so amazing. We don’t want to open our eyes to something or someone beyond ourselves…but could we miss the miracle if we stayed absorbed in our own little world and problems? What if God wants to do a work in our own life but we choose to stay overwhelmed by the giant we are facing? The truth is – our greatest pain, our deepest exhaustion, and our most dire situations could lead us to the greatest blessing we have received. It could open the doors for miracles to happen in the lives of those around us if we are open and ready and alert. As ministers of God’s message – as indeed we all are – we must have this Kingdom perspective.
I feel this morning that God is telling me to open my eyes – to see what He is about to do. I hear Him telling me to be ready to be used by Him to be a blessing to others. I also hear Him calling me to give Him anything that hinders, so that He might be free to do a mighty work inside of me.
What is God saying to you this morning? Don’t hesitate to look for miracles in the rough times. Be open, ready, and alert. You never know when God might want to send the miracle.