Me: “Connor, I’m looking for my phone. I just had it. I can’t find it anywhere! Have you seen it?”
Connor: “Uh, um, Mom, isn’t it in your hand?”
Me: (Alarmed gasp) “Oh! I forgot I was on hold with the doctor’s office!”
Have you ever looked for something without realizing that what you were looking for was already in your hand?
Oh, girl, it happens to all of us! You know, we can search for our sunglasses just to find that they were pushed back on our heads like a hairband. Those are the moments we laugh and wonder why we are becoming our mother! Ha!
But, in a very real sense, sometimes we are looking for or praying for something not realizing it truly is already in our hands, and in our lives.
When the disciples were gathered with the 5,000 men and the thousands of women and children listening to Jesus preach, their stomachs began to growl. They, along with the rest of the crowd, were growing hungry as the day grew long. So, the disciples told Jesus to send the crowd away to get some food.
But, Jesus told them something that seemed impossible or crazy. “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat” (Matthew 14:16b).
I imagine the disciples looked at each other perplexed. I imagine them digging in their pockets for old peanuts or a mint. I imagine they were each wondering what in the world Jesus was thinking? None of them brought a sack lunch.
And, there was no Chick-Fil-A to send James to. There wasn’t a Dominos that Peter could call for delivery. They had nothing. They had nothing in their hands.
However … there was a boy whose mom had packed a lunch.
The little boy held his Uncrustable, string cheese, and juice box in a crumpled brown bag. Okay, it was actually two fish and five loaves of bread! He had the answer for his need and the needs of others. He would have never known it, though, if he hadn’t presented it to Jesus.
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he [Jesus] gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people” (Matthew 14:19).
The disciples didn’t need to “send them away” after all. They did have the provision right there already—the provision was in their hands.
What about you? Can you see what is already in your hands?
If you present what you’ve got, even if it feels inadequate, perhaps you’ll find it will be the provision for what you need. The boy gave to Christ, Christ gave to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the people.
The result was all the people ate and “were satisfied” (Matthew 14:20).
It all begins with what we have. Jesus often takes what we bring to Him and multiplies it.
So, what is it that you need today?
When Moses was heading to Egypt, he told God he needed a sign to reassure him. God asked, “What is in your hand?” When Moses laid it down, God used the rod to provide for Moses and all the Israelites (Exodus 4:1-3, 14:16).
When a widow needed financial help, Elisha asked what she had in her house. She told him she had a small amount of oil. So, he instructed her to borrow jars into which to pour the oil. God then multiplied it until every jar was full (2 Kings 4:1-7).
God promises He will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19), yet sometimes we don’t notice how He is providing because the source through which He does it, or the style He does it with, is unexpected. Though God created the universe from nothing, He still often chooses to take what we have—the ordinary things of our lives—and transform them for our benefit, for ministry to others, and, ultimately, for His glory.
Perhaps the answer you have longed for is already in your hand? Maybe God has already supplied it through your own creativity or opportunities or relationships or resources?
So, be open to His ways and open your eyes of faith so you don’t waste time looking for something you already have!
Has there been a time when God has done this in your life? Share in the comments.