I remember being given what seemed like an impossible task when I was in the Army. The Gulf war was raging and I had to lead my platoon 40 miles into the desert to a new location that had been set up a week before. There were no roads and no landmarks (the desert is stark and bare). I only had a compass (no GPS back then). In the midst of tank columns and troops moving forward into battle my platoon, in a convoy of trucks, made it to our destination and set up the perimeter for our advancing company of decontamination soldiers. This seemed like an impossible task! But we made it!
When Jesus told the disciples that they could provide food for 10,000 people (5,000 men plus wives and children) it seemed like an impossible task! How do you react when given what seems like an impossible task? Do you give up? Or do you use the often times meager resources you have and set out on the journey?
Mark 6:41-44 (TNIV)
41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
I see so often that a situation that seems impossible with our few resources is simply an opportunity for God. The disciples did everything they could by organizing the people into groups and gathering what meager food they could find. Then, in answer to prayer, Jesus did the impossible. On that day in Saudi Arabia, I did everything I could by briefing my troops and organizing the convoy. I said a prayer and set out in the chaos of war….I believe God did the impossible. Using only a simple compass, we hit our mark within a quarter mile and set up the next strategic company base.
When you are faced with an impossible task, the important thing is to pray and to set out to do your part using the resources you have. God may very well see fit to do the impossible!