Posted on January 1, 2014
#35: Trust Without Borders
How far do I trust God? Have I ever had one single moment of true faith that had no boundaries? That’s the challenging issue raised in Oceans, a wonderful song by Hillsong United that’s based on Peter’s walk across the water toward Jesus.
We’re very comfortable with natural laws and physical limitations, so much so that we never think outside them. Therefore, our “trust” is usually grounded in what we know is conceivable. But the real thrill of faith (and its true nature) is when the inconceivable happens. For a brief moment, Peter left behind the possible—and he walked on water. Do we get that? He walked on water.
In today’s study, we’ll see the disciples faced with a moment that required trust without borders, trust that left behind the possible. Pick up your Bible!
Read Mark 6:33-44. Also look at Matthew 14:13-21, Luke 9:11b-17 and John 6:1-13.
Jesus wanted some time apart from the crowds. Then He saw them searching for Him. He had compassion on them, welcomed them, and began another long day of teaching and healing. As the day wore on, stomachs started growling. Eventually, the disciples approached Jesus and suggested, “It’s getting late. Send the people into town to eat.”
Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.” (John wrote that Jesus said this to test them, already knowing what He was going to do.)
I can imagine their quick, questioning looks at each other before Philip objected. “Lord, eight month’s wages wouldn’t buy a small snack for this many people!”
Andrew volunteered, “There’s a boy here with five barley rolls and two small fish. But what are they among so many?”
The next couple of hours held an eye-opening miracle that broke every law of mass and matter. Jesus told His disciples to seat the people in groups of about fifty. Then He gave thanks to His Father and began to break the bread and fish. The disciples distributed the pieces to the crowd. All four gospels are careful to mention that there were five-thousand men plus women and children, possibly upwards of 15,000 total; every person present ate until they were satisfied. Then each disciple collected a full basket of scraps —twelve baskets in all—leftovers that far exceeded what Jesus began with.
Logic saw the reasonable obstacles:
• The need is too great.
• We don’t have enough money.
• The small resources we have aren’t sufficient.
• There’s no help at hand.
Faith answered, “Here’s all you need to know: with God all things are possible.”
It’s easy to read this account and casually think, “Yeah, that was an amazing miracle.” But then we come to our own crisis of faith, and we’re faced with determining where our borders of trust lie. What happens
• when the checkbook balance is much smaller than the pile of bills.
• when the boss says, “Friday will be your last day; clear out your locker.”
• when another month goes by and the pregnancy test is still negative.
• when the doctor says, “I’m sorry. There’s nothing more we can do.”
• when your spouse says, “I don’t love you anymore; I want out.”
• when the answer you’ve prayed for so long doesn’t come.
In those moments, a trust with borders cries, “I can’t do this. I don’t have what it takes to walk this road.” A trust without borders affirms, “I’m Yours, Lord, no matter what. Help me believe You’re in this with me and You’ll somehow use this for my good.”
“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters
wherever You would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
and my faith will be made stronger
in the presence of my Savior.”
With every challenge, our faith is stretched and expanded. The tougher the test, the greater the gain in trust. We learn step-by-step that He is able to provide, heal, comfort, strengthen, protect, and save when every ounce of reason says it’s impossible. With God, all things are possible—no exclusions. Is your trust without borders?
What do you think?
Other than His resurrection, the feeding of the five-thousand is the only one of Jesus’ miracles recorded in all four gospels. Why was this one so important?
Has a specific crisis of faith stretched you, testing the borders of your trust? What have you learned about yourself? about your Lord? Search for Oceans on www.youtube.com and listen to its encouraging message!
© Diane McLoud 2013