BY PR NANCY LIM
In the account of Jesus feeding the five thousand (John 6:1-14), Jesus looked at the large crowd that had gathered before him and asked his disciples, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
Philip’s immediate concern was the high expenses that would have to be incurred in order to feed the multitude. Another disciple, Andrew, hesitantly came forward with a little boy and asked, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus showed that he was not constrained by the limited resources that was available. On the contrary, he was able to perform a miracle to feed the multitude with what was readily surrendered to him – the five small barley loaves and two small fish.
It makes me wonder what would have happened if the boy had decided to keep the food for himself? After all, there would not be enough to go round for everyone. Do we often allow seemingly rational reasons to determine our inaction, especially when some risk or inconvenience is involved? Is this why different ministries find it a challenge to look for more helpers – because people are hesitant to step forward?
We may be stopped by our own fear or insecurity. Whenever I deliberate if I should take on a challenging task, a negative voice in my head often goes like this: “There are more capable people who can do the job. This is not your strength.” At other times, there were also convenient reasons or excuses that would spring up in my mind to justify why I should not take on the task.
However, I usually try to delay my decision. Instead of giving a quick “no”, I would ask the important question: “Would this mean saying ‘no’ to God?” I would seek God’s guidance through prayers and when I was able to sense His assurance and confirmation, I would be ready to “take the plunge”.
I can vividly recall a past experience where I had to conquer my fear of water and jumped into the deep end of a pool during one of my swimming lessons. Inspired by John Ortberg’s book “If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat”, I overcame my fear by telling myself that God is ready to catch me in the pool.
There is indeed a great temptation for us to stay in our comfort zone. However, if we do not wish or do not have the courage to take a bold step forward, we would miss the blessings that God has in store for us.
When I look back on my own journey of faith, I realise that I have been blessed beyond measure when I said “yes” to serving God in overseas missions. It was, by far, the best season of my life. I would have missed these blessings, had I not made up my mind to get out of my comfort zone, the comfort of my home, and the country where I grew up in.
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ chose to get out of His “comfort zone” and came down from heaven in obedience to the will of God the Father (John 6:38). With Christmas just around the corner, let us meditate on the obedience that He has demonstrated.
Obedience is our rightful response to our Creator God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Obedience requires our immediate response and not giving excuses for our inaction. Can I challenge you to do one thing outside your comfort zone that would honour God? Pray and ask for God’s direction. May you be blessed for taking this step of faith.