And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. (Matthew 15:37 WEB)
In Scripture there are a couple accounts where Jesus makes use of a small food supply to feed the large number of people who came to listen to His words of wisdom. In each case the audience is starting to get hungry, the disciples don’t have sufficient funds to purchase food, a young bystander offers his meager stores, and Jesus demonstrates the power of God to provide. These miracles are spectacular demonstrations of the simple truth that God cares about and meets our basic needs. Are there people in this world who starve to death? Certainly, but that is not the topic here. It is the power of God to provide. Actually, I’m talking about the power of God, aka a miracle.
What confuses me is the ability of people to create detailed and convoluted explanations to remove any hint of a miracle in the Bible. In their minds the ability of Jesus to feed these people must be explained away, at any cost, to debunk any possibility that a spiritual world with special powers can exist in our world of science and fact. I’ve read explanations that attempt to disavow any hint of the spiritual or miraculous by relying on the overt generosity of the people offering up their hidden foodstuffs to fill the need as the meager amount of food was passed to satiate the palate of those around them. However; why do we need to discard the possibility of God as creator of the universe performing the miraculous in the midst of the everyday?
Today, according to many people and supported by news articles and published papers and books, there are crystals that have power; certain mountains have power, and tarot cards predict the future. People can read palms, minds, talk to the dead and divine the events of life from soaked tealeaves. These are promoted as viable and understandable beliefs. Really? They’re all just as ludicrous in the literal vision of the modern scientific, informed, and “educated” mankind as the possibility of spirituality and the existence of God.
How can we claim to believe sitting inside a pyramid will give us special mystical powers and then blithely dismiss the distinct possibility that God exists and interacts with the universe as we know it? It seems the modern thinker, drowning in the belief that nothing can exist which cannot be explained, touched, or measured, has tossed aside the one inkling of reality which can assuage their concerns about life and the reason for existence. This is mental redaction to the extreme.
We make fun of past generations because they marveled at the roll of thunder or flash of lightening and assigned them to someone or something outside of their existence. We snicker when we look at those who once thought the world was the center of the universe or the earth was flat. When these misunderstandings of the nature of the universe and the world were clarified it wasn’t the destruction of belief in the spiritual world, or God, but the further understanding of both. There are many other aspects of this world where we live that defy our explanation and will continue to confound the great thinkers of the world and refuse to succumb to the scientific method of the day.
It’s the wonder of life, the mystery of creation, the noise of a bubbling stream and unhindered laughter of children that should fascinate us. The wonders of God’s power should enthrall us. The power of God’s grace to tolerate our disobedience and snubbing of His presence in the world should cause us to stop and think daily if not moment-by-moment. The fact that someone in this world, much less the creator of the universe, can love us with our quirks, faults, and secrets should make us realize there is more to life than what can be categorized and pigeon holed by the sciences. The God who has the power to add fish to a basket as it is passed in order to feed a crowd, filled with believers and mockers, surely has the power to make a difference in our life.
Perhaps now is a good time to closer our eyes and think about the things we cannot explain. Then; consider whether a piece of crystal or building in the shape of a pyramid has a greater possibility to answer our questions than a God who has power to feed the hungry on a warm afternoon. The same God who was incarnate among us to restore our relationship with Him and express to us His grace and love