Believe it or not, I’m not always the brightest daffodil in the garden. At times, I am a frustratingly slow learner.
There’s a pair of stories in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark that resonate with that frustration. Jesus was preaching to a crowd of 5,000 people. They were out in the country, far from town, and the people became hungry. Jesus’ disciples said, “Send them away so they can go buy food.” But Jesus answered, “You feed them.” When they presented only five loaves and two fish, Jesus took it, blessed it, and miraculously multiplied it to feed the people. After everyone had eaten and been satisfied, 12 baskets full of leftover pieces were collected.
Now, you would think that the disciples would remember an event like that. But sometime later, they found themselves in a very similar spot. Again they were faced with a hungry crowd, this time 4,000 in number. This time, they had seven loaves with a few fish. The answer should have been obvious: If Jesus can feed 5,000 with five loaves, he can certainly feed 4,000 with seven! Instead, the disciples asked, “How can one feed these people?” They were slow learners.
Their problem was that they were so focused on their own weakness, they had forgotten how powerful Jesus was. I cannot blame them, for I have been just as slow in learning that lesson. As long as I am focused on my weakness, I will never conquer the mountains that stand in my way. But when I trust Jesus with all that I have, small as it is, He is able to do more with it than I could imagine.
He can do that for you too. Don’t be too slow in learning it.