2 Kings 4:42-44, Ephesians 4:1-6, John 6:1-15
In 2010 after my final year exams I visited a friend who also loved to share inspiring talks and quotes with me. When I entered his house, I saw that he was busy watching an inspirational talk. Something surprised me when I looked into the television to watch with him. My eyes couldn’t believe what I saw.
The talk that my friend was watching is an inspirational talk delivered by a man without arms and legs. So many questions then began to arise in my mind. How can this be possible? How could this speaker rise to such prominence despite His disability?
That was the first day I heard from this man known as Nick Vucijic. Till today this disabled but great man became one of my inspirational guides. Nick Vujicic is an Australian born renowned speaker, best selling author, and entrepreneur.
Before He rose to this height, Nick Vucijic was born without legs and arms. Because of this disability, he faced tremendous challenges and obstacles in His life. It was noted that because of His condition, there was a time he attempted to commit suicide and even tried to drown himself when he was at the age of ten.
He counted himself out of the living and believed he had no future. Today this man persevered through the challenges of life and became one of the great inspirational speakers in the world.
He has transformed the lives of many who think God has abandoned them. I developed a love for Nick Vucijic because whenever I listen or watch Him speak, my spirit reminds me that there is nothing God cannot do in our lives.
Hence as we read through the readings of today, we come to the fact that these readings have a lot of things to portray but at last, we can discover that in the presence of God, nothing is impossible. The readings of today are focusing on the omnipotence, omnibenevolence and Omni-grace of God. What the conditions of life are for us is not what it is for God. We do not have to limit what God can do in our lives.
Limit means a level or restriction in which something cannot be able to work or pass again. When something is limited, it means that the thing cannot go beyond the limit point. When the power of someone is limited, it means there is something He can do and something He cannot do.
For man, there is always a limit to his power and efficiency but for God, this is not. Sometimes, we make the mistake of assigning limitations to God. Therefore, that things are hard for you is not a sign it is the same with God. So, Do not limit what God can do in your life.
Let us discuss this as we gradually walk through the readings of today.
Beyond Every Impossibility.
The first reading and the gospel have a very good similarity. In the first reading the man that came from Baal-shalishah, brought to Elisha, the man of God, bread from the first fruits, twenty barley loaves and fresh grain.
The bread that he brought is only twenty loaves and Elisha asks his servant to share the bread with hundred men who are with Him. The servant shouted in wonder “how can I share this with hundred men?” But Elisha persists that God said there must be leftovers. He obeyed and there were leftovers.
In the gospel, when Jesus saw the crowd, He asked Philip where they could buy some bread for the people to eat. Philip told Jesus that what they had is only Two hundred denarii which can never be enough for the crowd. Andrew also pointed at one boy who had five barley loaves and two fish. But Andrew said, “but what is that between so many?”
Therefore, the servant of Elisha and Philip and Andrew do not have enough to feed such a large number of people, so feeding them with the little they have seems like an impossible mission.
As they are worried about what to do and how possible it can be, Elisha wasn’t bothered. Also, Jesus even proceeded to tell the people to sit down peacefully on the grass.
Therefore, when we face impossible situations, when we encounter challenges, we bother ourselves much even when God is not worried. God may have said yes to our prayers but we are placing limits on what God can do in our lives.
Do not limit God. None of our impossible situations is beyond Him. Therefore beyond every impossibility is still the power of God who can definitely do all things.
Share the Little You have.
When the man who came from Baal-shalishah brought to Elisha, the bread from the first-fruits, twenty barley loaves and fresh grain.’ I was expecting Elisha to rejoice and carry the gifts. But Elisha made a statement that truly touched me. Elisha said “‘Give it to the people to eat. Notwithstanding that the gift would not be enough for Him, he is willing to share it with the people around him.
Hence, Elisha teaches us the need to share a little with others. We may not know who can benefit from the little thing you can give. God can bless someone through you. Sometimes it is not that God is not doing wonders in our lives but we are so greedy to hoard everything to ourselves.
In the gospel, also, John tells us about the little boy who shared the five loaves and two fishes that Jesus used in feeding the five thousand.
Though the bible did not tell us whether the apostles bought it from him or not. But we presume they did not. The boy may have come there with the loaves to eat whenever he is hungry. Yet the young boy was ready to share the little he had with others.
The young little boy is willing to share the small things he has. Jesus blesses this and the small became food for a crowd. Hence, whenever you are willing to use the small you have to serve God and humanity. God always blesses that small thing that you have to become a portion of food for the crowd. The question today is what can we share?
You can share your talents, clothes, gifts, money, and even food with those who need them. The joy we create in them can open doors for you. When Abraham fed the angels in Genesis 18, little did he know he was opening a way for a great miracle in his life. It was through this generosity that he was promised the gift of a son (Genesis 18:10).
Whatever you can do to help humanity, always do it. It may be small in your eyes but you would not know the number of people that you serve through it.
Sometimes when we think we have little, we refuse to share or help another person, because we think it won’t be enough for us.
There are also times you may think, you do not have the gift to do what you want to do. We don’t have to limit what God can do in our lives. God can do wonders in your life through that little thing you can do, or through that little act of hospitality and charity.
Like Elijah and the young boy, let us shun selfishness but embrace love and generosity. Be generous with your gifts, knowledge, talents and resources both material and spiritual.
In the second reading, Paul listed it as one of the virtues we need in our vocation. Paul says “Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience”. We need to bear the burdens of one another. Sometimes we get what we want when we help others get what they want.
God loves You.
Some people think that God doesn’t love them. Many people abandon God and feel He is very far from them. Many people who limit God today believe there are things He can do and things He cannot do. Let us not limit God’s power over us. Do not limit God even when the things you pray for do not come the way you want.
In today’s first reading, the people Elisha shared the bread, did not beg for it and I believe they would be surprised.
Therefore, God can answer your prayers when you don’t even expect. Also, In today’s gospel, Immediately Jesus lifted His eyes and saw the crowds, He began to think about them.
He called Philip and began to think of how to feed that multitude. So, do not limit God even when you think He is far from you. The Only sacrifice that the crowd did today is to come to His presence. Let us always come to God’s presence.
He has our situations in mind.’Also, like Jesus let us not reject the people who come to us every day for help. They must not worship you before you can be able to help them. In the gospel, the people did not ask for food, but Jesus fed them. In the first reading, the same thing happened. Let us learn to bear the burdens of one another.
What To Do In The Midst of How-Can-This-Be-Situations?
1.Whenever we face problems in life, there is always the temptation of losing hope in God and limiting His power. Many of us limit the power of God whenever we are faced with the problem of How-can-this-be-situations.
These are those situations that make us question God, They are those times that we do not even know what to do. These are those conditions that keep us restless and it looks like God is silent.
Most of these situations make us limit what God can do in our lives. The question then is what do we do? How can we conquer these problems when they come our way?
The servant in the first reading was faced with this problem. And in the gospel Andrew and Philip faced the same case. What they have are only Two hundred denarii and five loaves and two fishes.
In the first reading, the servant asked’ ‘How can I serve this to a hundred men? Therefore for Him, this is not possible. Focusing on his strength, he believes that it can’t be possible.
Many people that God called also faced this kind of problem. People like Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah etc But God assured them of His mighty presence and they were successful. What we have to do is to follow God’s instructions and obey Him. In the first reading, when Elisha tells the servant that the Lord said that they will eat and have some leftover.” The servant obeyed and served them; they ate and had some leftovers. Therefore the servant obeyed. And God worked.
The gospel acclamation says your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life.
Therefore, obedience to God’s words is the secret of eternal life. Obedience to remain faithful to what God says can bring open doors. For example, God does not say you should fear. He doesn’t say we should worry.
Rather, He says we should trust Him always whether good or bad, Therefore Amid How-can-this-be-situations, do not limit what God can do for you. Obedience to God’s word is very important. It helps us both here and hereafter.
2. Secondly, Elisha says that the Lord says this, “They will eat and have some leftover.”’ The servant immediately obeyed. When I read this I began to ask myself a lot of questions.
The servant does not know whether what Elisha says will happen or not. He only obeyed because He heard God say. Here, we see the importance of faith.
Therefore, faith is always in the future and the future is always unknown and the weapon to go through the future is the weapon of faith. So, God may have prepared a path for you to walk on but you are the person still holding yourself. Let us learn to have faith and trust God, rather than limiting Him.
Thank God for the Little That You have.
The gospel today simply indicates that God can multiply even the little that we have. When Jesus was given the five loaves and two fish, Jesus did not begin to share immediately. He did not begin to shout or command the loaves to multiply.
Before the miracle of the multiplication, Jesus took the loaves and the fish and first of all gave thanks to God. Here, Jesus is invariably teaching us the power of gratitude. He is teaching us where to present whatever we have. He teaches us to present that little you have to God first. Gratitude to God for the little that you have is the secret of abundance.
This reminds me of what the author of the book “The Secret” Rhonda Byrne says. She says “When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.” “Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he or she will have an abundance”.
Therefore, always thank God for the little health, the little finance, the little success, the little improvement. By doing this, you are showing God how grateful you are even in the little that you have.
God detests ungratefulness. Here, Rhonda Bryne says that Gratitude is the great multiplier, so say thank you for your health every single day.
Gratitude to God is like an application for more blessings. Therefore do not limit what God can do for you, rather praise and bless Him for the ones He does and would do in your life. Also when people do something for us whether big or small, let us always learn to appreciate it.
God Always has Some Leftovers.
In the two readings of today, The people ate and they had some leftovers. Therefore do not limit what God can do for you. In the readings though what was given is so small when compared to the people who are to eat, yet at last, there were leftovers.
Hence, this teaches us that in God, there are many blessings. God has what will be enough for all of us and all ages.
For thousands of years, so many natural resources have been used and yet they are still in use. Even when you write on a particular topic and after a week you are to write on the topic again, you will see that you will write different ideas but still write a volume. God has enough blessings.
Always go to Him for more. Therefore what is impossible for us will not be impossible for God. Never limit what God can do. Do not limit the extent of His Provision.
1.There are times we think that what we have is not sufficient. There are situations where we may lose hope in God. God teaches us through these readings not to lose hope in Him. For the servant and the apostles what they have is not sufficient but for Elisha and Jesus, insufficiency has no place in God.
At that time when we think that we have insufficient resources remember that God has enough in store for us. The problem is that we do limit what God can do for us. That we cannot do it does not mean God cannot.
2. Also, let us be the light that others see. Let us not always find it difficult to help others. Always be willing to share what you have. Be ready to show people the way. By doing this, do not think you are only doing it for them, you are doing it for yourself. Today instead of becoming a blessing, many have decided to live with hatred and family disunity. When we are doing this, we are also affecting ourselves.
3. What we think we know and however we have calculated our problems may not be what God has in mind. We may think that something wouldn’t work but God has already set in place how it will work out.
In the gospel, Philip already knows that two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them: Philip’s knowledge of the situation was accurate and impressive (two hundred denarii is more than six month’s wages), but his knowledge was useless in getting the problem solved.
Philip thought in terms of money, and how much money it would take to carry out God’s work in a small way (every one of them may have a little). So like Philip, We often limit God too, looking for how His work cannot be possible because of limited resources or how it can be done in the smallest way. But Jesus teaches us that whether good or bad we must always trust in the God of providence.
4. When Jesus has little to feed the people, Jesus makes use of the little He has. Jesus is teaching us that we do not need millions to change the lives of others. We do not even need millions to change our lives. Jesus is teaching us to always start with the small we can. Begin from where you are and with any little thing you can do. Despite how little it can be, God can still multiply it. Every successful man today began with a small step. So, do not wait until you see millions in your account to start whatever thing you want to do. The major thing is to begin.
5. Never limit God despite your condition. When you watch Nick Vucijic, you will hardly believe that such a disabled man can rise to great heights. Do not limit what God can do out of those troublesome situations that you are facing now. Everything about God is beyond what the human mind can comprehend. Do not limit the power of God. Always trust in Him.
6. Finally, the people we have to thank also are the apostles of Jesus Christ. Do you remember that these people were able to share this food with thousands of people? Only men were counted and presumably, the apostles also did the counting. They shared the food and did the counting.
Thereby Jesus gave them a heavy workload but they did not complain. They did not disobey their master, they went into action.
Here, the apostles are teaching us the need to always see our work as a way to serve God with our hearts. When we do this, there will be no grudges, no regrets, no complaints etc. When many of us work for God and encounter situations that we do not expect, there is the temptation to complain and work with a grudgeful mind. In the disciples, we see the need to go give God all and work for Him with all our hearts.
Therefore always trust in God. Do not limit what God can do for you even in the midst of hopelessness. Always share the little you have and do not forget to give God thanks. He still has a lot in store for us.
May God continue to bless us as we listen and keep to His word. Amen.
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