Don’t Leave God Out of the Equation

July 18, 2011

Math has a lot to do with our Christian walk. Surprised? I was. (Especially since math was my least favorite subject in school!)

But our ability to add correctly is vital to our wellbeing as Christians. Just ask the disciples; they learned this the hard way.  

If you flip over in your Bible to Mark 6, you can read the account of the math test that they failed. Here’s the setting: hot place (desert), huge crowd (five thousand men and their families), long day (sun was setting).

The crowd has been listening to Jesus teach for hours. And if you have sat through a long sermon on Sunday morning, you know that nothing will make you hungrier for an enchilada plate from your favorite Mexican restaurant. But since there were no Mexican restaurants in the desert, the disciples had a problem.

So Jesus smiles and tells them to see what they have. They promptly scour the crowd to see who all brought a lunch box. Unfortunately, only one kid did. (Mothers: this miracle actually started with a mom packing her child’s lunch that morning. <John 6:9>)

So the disciples add up what they need: 5,000 combo meals from Long John Silver’s.

Then they add up what they have: five biscuits and two fish sticks.

And this is where they went wrong. Because they came up with seven (five loaves + two fish = seven). In reality, they had eight. Because they left one important thing out of the equation: Jesus.

Five loaves + two fish + Jesus = more than enough.

You know what’s funny though? We tend to do the same thing.

  • We add up our bills for the month and think…I don’t have enough.
  • We survey our incredibly long to-do list, compare it to our energy supply, and think…I don’t have enough.
  • We consider the amount of patience it will take to wait on God’s will and think…I don’t have enough.

The little widow of Zarephath didn’t have enough food (1 Kings 17), Gideon didn’t have enough men (Judges 7), Peter didn’t have enough money (Matthew 17), and Joshua didn’t have enough daylight (Joshua 10)…until God entered the equation.

So stop staring in dismay at your five loaves and two fish. You’re counting to seven. You’re leaving God out of the equation.

Count to eight! When it’s over, you’ll discover (as the disciples did), that you had more than enough.

Question to ponder: What equation in your life are you leaving God out of?

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