How often don’t we hear someone say: “I should have done that differently!” Or “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I wish I hadn’t done that”.
Jesus apostles did the same thing. One day they were worried about not bringing bread with them. I can imagine the conversation between them must have gone something like this: “I should have remembered!” “I should have reminded you! Now what will we do?” “I wish we could turn back the clock!” “What’s a clock?” “Don’t worry, it hasn’t been invented yet!”
Did Jesus ever worry about whether or not He should have done things differently?
Never! In fact He points out that this kind of worrying is a demonstration of our lack of faith: “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?” (Matt 16:8-10 NIV) He has a good point. Why worry at all when we have the Provider on our side?
I remember my first trip to Mexico. We had dined at a cheap, local restaurant, and had enjoyed an exquisite meal. However, not even an hour later, my stomach started to take a sharp turn right, then another one to the left. And before I knew it, it was completely upside down. I didn’t have to worry about anyone not believing me, either: My face was the proof! It was as green as a spinach leaf!
Naturally in such circumstances, no matter how hard you try, you have to say “Auf wiedersehn” to your exquisite meal! (Wait a minute! I should say this in Spanish, not German! “Adios!”) I still remember fretting about this afterwards. Thoughts such as: “I shouldn’t have drunk the water!” Or “Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to that cheap restaurant.” Or “I wish I had stayed home!” were foremost in my mind.
Did all that fretting and worrying make me feel any better? In all reality, it made me feel worse! What was I? Some kind of a masochist?
The issue is not about what I should or shouldn’t have done, or how I should have done things differently (many math students face similar dilemmas!), but rather, have I learned from my experience? How can I depend more on my Provider instead of on my stubborn independence? Hasn’t He always come through for me in the past? Why shouldn’t He come through for me now? I know He loves me. Why do I even doubt?
If you would like to know where you can eat an exquisite Mexican meal, I sure can help you with this.
What? No takers?
(To view the entire “You of Little Faith” devotional series, please click here.)