Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
John 6:5-9 5
When 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? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
In this chapter of John’s Gospel, we find Jesus with a large crowd of people following him after they had witnessed the miracles that he had done. You will recall in chapter 5, Jesus cured the invalid who was unable to get to the pool of Bethesda when the water was troubled. Now we find Him trying to get away from the crowd because He has become a victim of “good news travels fast”. Jesus was tired and needed to rest but, the feast of Passover was fast approaching. The disciples noticed that the crowd that followed had become hungry and needed to be fed. Jesus asked them what they needed to do about feeding this crowd. In the midst of the multitude, not only were they strapped for cash, they could only find one small boy with 2 fish and 5 barley loaves. This is when Jesus went on to feed the multitude and still have enough for everyone to have a “take home” plate.
While I have share this scripture with you before, like the saying goes, there is more to the story. There are a few new points that we have to consider. The first is to not under estimate how small the problem is. When we look at this scripture, we understand fully that there were a lot of people that were following Jesus. We also understand that while following Jesus, the people for hungry. We even understand that the disciples were strapped for cash hen it was time to buy some food. The truth of the matter is that, when the disciples found out that there was some food in the crowd, they were only able to find a small portion. Now, if you know like I know, a little bit of food to a big crowd is basically no food at all. How many times have you had something big in front of you but only a little it to work with? If you do not understand what I am saying, go over to 1 Kings 17. Elijah was told to go to Zarephath to find a woman to five him some food. The woman only had just enough to make piece of hot water corn bread so that she and her son could eat. If you can’t relate to that, how many times have you had a long distance to drive but only had ¼ tank of gas in the car…with no money in your pocket…a week before payday…with other bills that are past due…and your credit card is maxed? The point I’m trying to make here is that we’ve all been a victim of the “Pot and Window” syndrome! The situation may not have been that bad but then we don’t realize how something so small can make things seem so much bigger. I’m not afraid to tell you I’ve been in these types of situations. I’ve been having issues with my car for the past few years. Well, last week was no exception. I go to check on my car Saturday night and discovered that my tail lights were on even though the car was off. I open my car to make sure that I had not mistakenly left the parking lights on, which they weren’t so I was at a loss as to what was really going on with my car. The next morning went to start the car and found that the battery had died. There was no time to get a jump because I was on my way here so; thank God I was able to make it. Let me also pause and let you know that God’s children always know when God’s children are in need. We have to realize that even though we are all in this together, God has a way of letting us know that one of His other children need some help. Something to think about the next time your nose wants to turn upward.
Another thing we realize is that sometimes, the smallest problem can have the biggest impact. I know that may sound a little redundant but think about this, if you under estimate the small problems, they could possibly cause bigger problems. Andrew told Jesus that they found a boy in the crowd that only had 2 sardines and 5 saltine crackers and had the nerve to ask how they were going to feed them with that. That small problem was surely going to make a big impact. When I got home last week, I had to immediately call the auto parts store to see if they could tell me what was going on. The clerk at the store concluded that the brake light switch was bad and needed to be replaced. He gave me the price and said that they had the part in stock. I immediately went on to make the problem into a bigger problem. I was now wondering how I was going to get to work on Monday. I was wondering how I was going to get this part fixed because I am really not an automotive inclined. I was wondering what was going to happen if I explained to the boss on Monday that I was having car trouble yet again. That’s the same thing we do when we all face those little problems. We are so focused on what’s wrong that we start adding dirt to the molehill until it becomes Mt. Everest. We ready to throw in the towel when the round has just begun. We’re ready to end the game when we still have 3 timeouts left. We’re so quick to paint ourselves into a corner when the door is right next to us. We have to stop making the small problem bigger than it really is.
The good news about all of this is that God will take a small problem and make an even bigger solution. All we have to do is sit back, sit down, and watch Him do His work. Jesus to the disciples to “Have the men sit down.” It was then that Jesus was able to turn the small problem into an even bigger solution. We just need to step back a bit. Sometimes the solution is right in front of you. The problem we have is that, because we’re looking for the big problem, the smallest answer gets overlooked. When I was able to purchase the switch for my brake lights, I started to work real REAL hard to try to fix this thing on my own. I was, literally, almost upside down on the floor of the driver’s side trying to find the switch so I could take it off and replace it with the one that I had purchased. I hadn’t vacuumed the car in a while so; I was working around the stuff that was on the floor. It got to the point where I was severely frustrated. My friend suggested that I call the store back and see if they could at least show me how to take it out and replace it with the new one. I called the store and asked the clerk if he could show me how to get this piece on so I wouldn’t have any more problems. He told me, “If you can get a jump, bring it to the store and I will see what I can do.” My friend gave me a jump and we both made a bee line to the store. The clerk met us outside and he then proceeded to get down on the floor of the car to see how everything looked. About 2 seconds later, he said, “here’s your problem right here. See this piece of rubber? You need this to make contact with the switch so the lights go off. I found it on the floor.” It was the rubber. That piece of rubber. That SMALL piece of rubber was the source of the problem but, it was also that same SMALL piece that was the bigger solution. Did I mention that the replacement was on $5? Are you seeing how God had His hand all over this thing? I was waiting for the big problem but, the small problem provided a bigger solution. All I had to do was sit down (or, in my case, get a jump) and let God handle His business. Don’t sweat the small stuff. God will provide the bigger solution. When I was growing up I used to hear the choir sing Jesus Can Work It Out.
That problem that I had
I just couldn’t seem to solve
I tried and I tried
Kept getting deeper involved
But I turned it over to Jesus
Then I stopped worrying about it
I stopped worrying about it
And turned it over to the Lord
HE WORKED IT OUT