Moments of Limited Resources
Have you ever faced moments of limited resources? Do you sometimes feel like your needs are greater than your resources? How do you handle these situations?
Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional:
“'We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish, they answered '” — Matthew 14:17
The entrepreneur’s journey is full of moments of limited resources; either you are raising capital to launch or expand that unique business idea or trying to ensure you have enough cash to make it through. Sometimes it seems like everyone else is fully funded except you, but the reality is there is no great vision that begins fully funded, and, at some point or another, every great vision will seem greater than the resources at hand. If that was not the case, everyone would do it, and no one would need God.
The Master Jesus Himself faced moments of limited resources, but He never doubted, nor did he fret, because He knew that His Father was in control. Unfortunately, His disciples did not always have the same confidence. My favorite example is found in Matthew 14, which was the time Jesus had finished healing the people, and they had been in a deserted place all day long. It was getting late, so the disciples said to Jesus, “Send the people away to the villages that they may go and buy food to eat.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them some food.” They looked at Jesus like He had lost His mind and said, “We have only five loaves and two fish.” Jesus replied, “Bring it here to me.” He took it, commanded that everyone be seated, looked into heaven, prayed to His Father and was able to feed over five thousand people and even had some leftovers.
“So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.” — Matthew 14:20-21
A similar story is told in Mark 6:30-44, where we learn that the bread and the fish were actually from a little boy who volunteered his food for the Master to perform His miracle. What happened here? What does this teach us? That only Jesus is capable of performing such miracles? No; you and I also have the ability to trust God to meet the needs we encounter along the journey of realizing the vision He called us to carry out. Jesus was modeling His own teaching from Matthew 6:25-34:
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
I have always loved this story in Matthew, because Jesus makes the point that if God can take care of the birds of the air or the lilies of the field, who neither have productive value nor reflect the image and likeness of God, how much more will He take care of you and I, who not only reflect God’s image and likeness, but are also called according to His purpose.
A similar story is found in II Kings 4:1-7 with a widow, who finds her herself bankrupt and about to lose her children to slavery, due to her inability to pay her creditors. All she has of value is a jar with a little bit of oil. She goes to Elijah for help, but, instead of praying for her, Elijah gives her guidance on how to trust God for supernatural provisions by borrowing more resources and using what she had to start an oil distribution company. She follows Elijah’s instruction, and God takes the limited resources she has and multiples them to enable her to take products to the market to make enough money to pay her creditors and provide for herself and children.
What lessons can we learn from Jesus and the widow with the jar of oil about how to persevere in moments of limited resources?
- Don’t doubt
- Know who your source is
- Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have
- Make sure you are called and working according to His purpose
- Take responsibility and have a plan
- Call on others for help
- Ask boldly
Moments of limited resources are great opportunities to experience the supernatural provision of God. These are times when the Scripture “man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4) comes alive. If you are experiencing a moment of limited resources, and you are assured of your calling and purpose, know that you are about to experience God’s grace in a supernatural way. If you never experience moments of limited resources, then my question for you is have you ever taken on a God-ordained vision or idea or do you only take on things you can do yourself?
My prayer for you is that God will give you the grace and wisdom to manage moments of limited resources by fully trusting Him to provide.
Reflection: Are you facing limited resources? Read Genesis 26. See how God can bless even in famine… he can for you too. Seek Him for guidance.
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Contribution by: Patrice Tsague – NPIM