Few things in life are so depressing as a boy's long-uncleaned room. Sometimes you might not even want to ask them to clean it. It might be better just to torch it or hose it out like a monkey cage. I remember one time my wife and I wanted to say "I love you" to our boys in a special way. So while they were gone one Saturday, we literally attacked their room. We thought it would be a little easier to keep it clean if we would, this one time, make it clean. When we were done, it was a great place to be again, and when the boys walked into their room, they became believers in miracles. And we did make two things really clear to them. First, "We love you guys." Secondly, "Don't expect us to make this a habit."
We intervened in that mess with a big "I love you" in the form of a room-cleaning "miracle." But most of the time, it wasn't going to get clean through a miracle. There's a lesson for us here in the ways of God in our everyday lives, believe it or not.
That lesson actually is exhibited in our word for today from the Word of God in Luke 9:17. It's just a little P.S. to one of Jesus' greatest miracles — you know, the day He multiplied one lunch into lunches for over 5,000 people. His disciples had this awesome thrill of handing out that miracle and watching the food multiply before their eyes. Now notice this postscript to that miracle, "They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over." Interestingly enough — 12 baskets — one for each of them.
Jesus demonstrated here that He can miraculously create a lunch. But what do you think the disciples ate the next few days? Did you ever think about that? Jesus could have kept doing miracle lunches for them, but He met their need through something much more day-to-day: the leftovers, taking good care of the resources they had – not wasting anything. The leftovers from the miracle lunch.
Miracles are special interventions, and God does them to dramatically show His love for us, like a dad cleaning his boys' room. But also like that dad, God doesn't do miracles all the time. God expects you and me, not only to pray for miracles, but to be good stewards of the everyday resources He gives us.
His provision often comes through our simply running our lives by His principles, to use everything we have wisely, to maintain what He's provided for you already, to plan wisely, to budget wisely, to stay out of debt, and to make things last. It's interesting that the Lord who extravagantly provided that miracle lunch is the same Lord who wanted the disciples not to waste anything that was left over. Maybe God operates on a principle similar to the one I heard in some management training one time: "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
Well, how are you doing using what God's already given you? How well are you caring for what God has already given you? We could pray for supernatural intervention, and often during our lives God will answer with one of His amazing miracles. But in between, He's watching how well you do with the baskets He's already supplied. He'll always see that you have what you need. It won't always be miracles, but it will always be there.
© Ronald P. Hutchcraft 2019