Be Still

Starting in about 3rd grade I began to fall behind in school. It started with spelling and vocabulary, then moved into math and science as well. My grades continued to struggle all throughout middle school and that mindset followed me until my sophomore year in high school. I was someone who struggled in school. I wouldn’t allow myself to succeed, and it felt like any success didn’t belong to me. I hated the shame of failure and I would do whatever it took to hide that shame. It was a dysfunctional cycle. I was afraid to ask questions in class because I didn’t want the rest of the class to think I was stupid. I can vividly think of multiple times where I would sit at my desk and hope that someone else would ask a question that I had, just so others didn’t think that I didn’t understand the problem. This left me confused and doomed to failure when it came homework and test time.

By the time I hit my sophomore year, I found something that I was passionate about. Film and Media, this was finally something that I could really grasp and understand. I worked as hard as I could in my media classes because I enjoyed the work and also because I felt like I needed to prove to everyone that I wasn’t stupid. This became my driving motivation to succeed, to show others that I wasn’t a failure.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve tried and failed? Maybe you’ve had situations at home that was out of your control? How do you handle these situations? Do you tense up and try to act tough, prove that you can handle anything?

Let’s look together at John 6, which opens up with a story about Jesus feeding the 5,000 with a couple fish and five pieces of bread. Now I know that I told you that I’m not great with math, but I can tell you that 2 fish and 5 pieces of bread won’t feed over 5,000 people. So lets jump into the text and see what happens,

After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

Let’s stop right here for just a second. Jesus asks Philip a question, and Jesus already knows how this is going to play out. “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” Immediately in Philip’s mind he is thinking about the hopelessness of the situation. He thinks that even if we worked and saved for months, we still wouldn’t have what we needed. Andrew’s mindset is different, he goes into action trying to solve the issue but comes up short in verse 9, “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

Check out what Jesus does next,

10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign,