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December 4, 2011

In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.  And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.”  And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?”  And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.”  And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd.  And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them.  And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.  And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away.  And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
Mark 8:1-10

This story always blows my mind.  The disciples had just fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish.  Crazy, right?  So now they’re with 4,000 people.  That’s 1,000 fewer people to feed.  They now have seven loaves and three fish.  More food than last time.  You’d think Peter would pipe up and say, “Dude, we got this.”  (I won’t go into the theological implications of calling Jesus “Dude”)   Nope, they freak out.  Again.  And Jesus multiplies the food.  Again.  It’s pretty easy to point out the disciples’ ridiculous lack of faith, right?

Fast forward to April of this year.  I’ve been living off of financial support for 6 months, and God has provided in some pretty incredible ways.  I’m getting ready to head to Sierra Leone for the summer, so I grab my passport.  I’ve been to some pretty cool places, so I decided to crack that bad boy open and bask in the splendor of the stamp and visa-covered pages.  But wait, what’s that?  “Valid until April 28, 2011.”  Uh oh.  I quickly log into my bank account.  I can barely make out the zeroes behind the virtual cobwebs.  Nothing’s been there for quite some time, it seems.  So, what do I do?  Freak out, of course!  In a matter of seconds the following has run through my mind:

EXPIRED?!  How can these expire?!
I can’t travel this summer.
I can’t travel ever again.
I’ll have to quit Reign.
God hates me because I just quit Reign.
No heaven for me.
Kill me now.
How can I bribe St. Peter to let me in after I’ve died a painful death?
Seriously, these EXPIRE?!

That night I head out for a support meeting with some old friends.  We have a great conversation, and they decide to give me a pretty odd amount of money: $111.  Weird, right?  Well, guess what the passport renewal fee is?  Yup, $111.  That happened.

All too often I forget God’s faithfulness.  And not just the theoretical “God is faithful, hallelujah” we sing in church.  I’m talking about God providing in ridiculous ways in my very own life.   Sometimes I wonder if I really believe that God is powerful, that he can miraculously take care of me.  I mean, as I live out my life, for all practical purposes, I don’t.  Yet, he’s still faithful.  He still provides.

How have you seen God provide?  Do you truly believe he can take care of ALL your needs?

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