In my experience, God has a pretty great sense of humor!
Through the way he works in love and joy, he improves our faith and proves his faithfulness. There have been a couple of key moments in my family life where God has not only proved his power and faithfulness but challenged our faith in him to be stronger than our faith in the circumstances of this world.
My family and I went 8 years without a secure home after moving from New Zealand to Australia because we believe God had lead us to. My parents became sick of always renting and being moved on. They believed God had said that He had a home for us and we would be in it by Christmas. That was in June. On the 17th December, we moved into our new home. 7 days before the given date!
This sort of ‘faith test’ – or demonstration of God’s sense of humor, as some might say – has happened multiple times over my lifetime and I always find my faith waning near the ‘last minute’ mark. But God has always come through. He is always teaching us a lesson of His faithfulness in all things and (hopefully) growing our faith to trust Him a little bit more each time.
A funny thought popped into my heart a couple of years ago about faith and our never-failing father. It looked a little something like this.
A father and his three-year-old boy were walking through a park together when all of a sudden the little boy crouches down all excited, focused – and then perplexed. He points to a grasshopper in the grass and says to his dad,
“Daddy, why are the grasshopper’s wings like that?”
The dad’s response was simple: “They are designed perfectly so the grasshopper can fly, find food and flourish.”
Fully satisfied with a smile, the child continued walking in the park with his dad. I love this because it opened my eyes just a little more to what it means to have child-like faith. Faith that is fully trusting, knowing that the answer the Father gives is always the best one. It’s the faith that Jesus calls us to have every day.
We read in the Bible: “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” Hebrews 1:11
God calls us to have child-like faith, and there are so many points in the Bible where we see everyday people putting their faith in our never-failing God, and plenty of points where people don’t. But this is one where we do. In all four gospels is the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000. This miracle occurs amongst the devastation of John the Baptist just being killed, and Jesus and his disciples possibly retreating. I encourage you to read John 6 before we move on.
There are many people involved in this awesome story. Jesus, his disciples, approximately 5000 men (and their wives and children) … and the child who gave up his lunch. Whether forcefully or not, that little boy gave up his lunch to Jesus. This young boy who was ‘the least of these’ gave up what was quite possibly his only food, on a long journey, in the middle of nowhere. It’s quite a stark contrast to the disciples who said it would be ‘too expensive’ and there wasn’t any where to buy food anyway. They didn’t turn to Jesus, but a boy offers his lunch and now that the disciples recognised their inadequacy, Jesus tells them to feed the people.
This so eloquently points to God because the disciples knew it was not in their own power, but God’s. And so after thanking the Lord for what he had provided, Jesus performed a miracle that not only sustained, but provided food in abundance for many people as they simply followed him.
We read in this story: “When they had all had enough to eat, Jesus said to the disciples “Gather the pieces that are leftover. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of 5 barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” John 6:12-13
That little boy didn’t know what Jesus was going to do with his lunch. But in faith he gave it up.
What’s in your lunchbox that you need to give to Jesus? Ask God to search your heart for things that you need to put your faith in him for. Now pass it to him. Surrender it, because our loving Father will answer you for he is a good Father. Whatever that answer is, thank Him for it because it’s a part of his heart for you.
Don’t put God in a box! He has GRAND kingdom plans for you. I encourage you to pass your lunchbox to him with whatever you have in it, to have a mustard seed of faith and watch him grow it in his power, watch how you will continue to grow in him, and watch how you can know him.
Have faith, he will provide – and thank him for it, for he is ALWAYS GOOD.