Good Morning Readers:
It is a great day today. Tomorrow, I am scheduled to preach and I’m thankful to God that he gave me the opportunity to preach His Gospel. Today, I’ve going to do something different. Instead of waiting until after I preach to post this, I’ve decided to share with you today. There are two reasons behind this. One, I have preached this sermon before. Two, this particular sermon is more personal to me than any of the others that I have done. I won’t say that it’s the best one but, I will say this; this sermon hits HOME to me more today than the first time I preached it. I hope I am able to help someone as well as continue to help myself…
Praying for a Miracle in the Middle of a Mess
1After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.
2And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
3And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
4And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
5When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
7Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,
9There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
10And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
11And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
12When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
13Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
14Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
When searching for the word mess in the dictionary we find several definitions. However for the sake of today’s occasion, we use two:
a state of embarrassing confusion: My affairs are in a mess.
an unpleasant or difficult situation: She got into a mess driving without a license.
When searching for the word miracle, we also find several definitions and again, we will use two:
an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of god.
With this in mind, when we are traveling along life’s tedious journey, not only will there be times when we will find ourselves in a state of embarrassing confusion and not only will there also be times when we will find ourselves in unpleasant or difficult situations, we can rest assured that, along with those things, there will be an extraordinary event that surpasses all known human or natural powers and said event will be manifested or considered the Work of God. In other words, there will be a miracle in the middle of your mess!
In the beginning of the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel, we find Jesus going across the sea of Galilee after leaving Bethesda. When he reached shore he went to a mountain. He then realized that while wanting to travel alone and when he had gotten to the mountain, a large crowd, many that had been healed previously, had followed him to the mountain. When they finally reached the mountain, the disciples discovered that, since this was the time of the Passover, there was no food to feed this multitude. Jesus then asked Philip, where were they able to buy food in an effort to feed all of these folk. Philip said that even two-hundred denarii, which in essence was six months wages, was still not enough to feed the multitude of people. Andrew concluded that there was only a young boy with two fish and five barley loaves who seemed to have anything to eat but was definitely not enough to barely feed the boy, let alone a crowd of this size. This is when Jesus told His disciples to, “Make the people sit down…” It was then that Jesus took the fish and the loaves and gave thanks to God, after which, he gave to His disciples to distribute among the people. After they had eaten to their hearts’ content, Jesus then instructed them the take up all that was left so there would not be a waste of food.
There are three points that should be considered from this text. The first thing we have to realize is that, when we are in that difficult situation, we must understand that, the mess is there, the mess is real, and it is what it is. While we go through the process of daily life, we have to come to a conclusion that, often times, we will find ourselves around, and sometimes in, a mess. It may be something that is as critical as a loss of some sort or, it may be something as significant as a life changing event that may have been revealed to you suddenly. But no matter the circumstance may be, no matter what that thing is that has changed your life in such a way that you really don’t know what to do or who to turn to, you are still in the middle of a mess because the mess is there, the mess is real, and it is what it is. When I was growing up my Dad would take us down to Perrine, FL every so often to visit family. Most times when we got there, my Grandmother was there to greet us at the door but there were sometimes when she was actually in the kitchen because she knew that if one family was coming, everybody else was sure to follow. She also knew that, if everybody showed up, we were always ready to eat. She knew that when that small house was full of hungry folks that loved to eat, and that if she didn’t get herself in that kitchen to whip something real fast, she was going to have a mess on her hands. Now, I don’t really know how she did it, nor do I really know where all the food came from. The only thing I knew is that when I stepped foot in HER house, there was fish and grits, hot water cornbread, greens, and more frozen cups than you could shake a stick at. In other words, when she saw the mess of folks coming though her door, there was a miracle of food already on the table!
Once we realize that the mess is there and, once we realize that the mess is definitely real, and once we realize that the mess is what it is, we have to take that mess and turn it over to God. When the disciples realized that they only had a lunch for one, they gave it over to Jesus so that He could make it lunch for many. That mess that you are in right now may surely seem like a lot to you and that mess seems like it’s more than you can handle, and that mess seems like the, more you dwell on it, you may feel like you’re not ready to deal with it. But if you take it to God and then go sit down, and let Him handle His business, you will get your miracle in the middle of your mess. I can call one more witness to the stand and that is the man that was at the pool of Bethesda
2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
That man was born into a mess. That man had been waiting by that pool for the majority of his life. He knew that his mess was right there and, he knew that his mess was surely real and I’ve quite sure he said to himself every day, “it is what it is”. But when Jesus stopped by, when Jesus simply asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?” When Jesus said, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk”, that brother knew that he found his miracle in the middle of his mess. In other words, it’s all about who’s hands you put your mess in.
I might throw a few passes that may hit my receiver, but when you put that ball in Peyton Manning’s hands, you will get six points on the board!
When you give me that same football and let me carry it, it might be for a short gain but, when the Dallas Cowboys put the ball in Emmitt Smith’s hands, all you saw was #22 in the end zone!
When you put me behind this desk to preach a sermon, you just might get a few words from what I have to say but, when I put my sermon in God’s hands, you will surely be hearing from Heaven!
When you have that mess you’ve been dealing with all this time, and when you try to handle it all but yourself, but when you take your burdens to the Lord and LEAVE THEM THERE, there will be a miracle in the middle of your mess!
That’s all we need to do. Don’t try to make this journey on your own. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen if things don’t seem to be going the way you want them to. Turn your mess over to God and, in the name of Jesus, you will get your Miracle!!!