“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
I have procrastinated writing this letter for more than a few days now. Traditionally, the November/December newsletter focuses on our end-of-year fundraising campaign. Yet, with the current economic crisis dominating the headlines, the thought of requesting financial support for Restoration Place has become just a bit intimidating. I confess that I’ve had more than one conversation with God on this matter, reminding him that living on such a limb of faith was never my first choice, much less in a time of recession! In a way so true to his nature, he tenderly reminded me that my hope is in him, not in a certain number of monthly contributions, our bank account, or even a 401k plan. One very profound way that God has reminded me of this is through a biblical passage so obviously important that he made sure all four gospel writers included its message in their narratives: the account of the feeding of the 5,000.
The disciples had gone with Jesus to a solitary place for rest. They were tired and hungry after rigorous days of ministry. Still, the crowds had followed them, and in his love, Jesus had welcomed them, spoken to them on the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. And then Jesus decided to do the unthinkable—at least the unthinkable in the minds of the disciples. He chose to feed them. The entire crowd…all 5,000 of them!
You can almost imagine the thoughts of the disciples: “Has he lost his mind? Hasn’t he paid attention to the latest financial update on this little non-profit? We can barely feed ourselves! How can we feed 5,000? All we have here is a little boy’s five barley loaves and two fish!”
Jesus replies: “Not a problem!” He takes the loaves and fish, looks up to heaven, and gives thanks. Then he hands the food to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. In the end, one boy’s lunch became more than enough to feed 5,000 men! Please understand that Jesus never meant for this to be a lofty ideal. He meant for us to believe and base our decisions on it. He is serious when he says, “Do not be anxious about your life,” (Matt. 6:25) and that “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27).
I am not suggesting that this faith and confidence automatically change bears to bulls or replace losses to our 401(k) plans. But as Jon Bloom, executive director of Desiring God Ministry, so eloquently writes: “An economic recession can be a moment when the abounding grace of God can be put on display in a way that isn’t seen as clearly in prosperity. It can call us to confront our fears and false hopes and preach to ourselves that God’s wealth is as bottomless and boundless as it was when the future appeared more certain.”
I see one other crucial lesson we shouldn’t miss. Jesus took the smallest of gifts—fives loaves and two fish—and multiplied it to feed thousands! In the same way, he will take even the smallest financial donation and multiply it in order to help heal the hurting hearts of many women. If you haven’t supported RPC for a while (or even if you have), would you prayerfully consider contributing to the mission of Restoration Place to help us end strong in spite of a weak economic year? A gift of any size really does help us!
Standing confidently with you on the promise that God will supply every need of ours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19)!