June 29, 2001 • By Ed Wrather
But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ And they said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.’ He said ‘Bring them here to Me.’ - Matthew 14:16-17.
One of my first jobs after college was as a route salesman for a wholesale auto parts distributor. It was during this time that the oil crisis hit with lines forming at the gas pumps. Because people were forced to drive less their cars needed repair less often and it had a delayed impact on the auto parts industry.
The man I was working for had been concerned for some time about a different problem. A supplier had sent him a truckload of antifreeze along with an invoice. The supplier had been demanding payment. My boss had been calling and having me write trying to convince them to come and pick up the antifreeze which was also taking up a large amount of space in our small warehouse. However, because of the oil crisis the supply of antifreeze was drying up. The day the truck came to pick up the antifreeze my boss had been so desperately trying to get rid of I was getting order after order for antifreeze, but it was too late.
If we had been able to keep the truckload of antifreeze the business would have boomed. Because we would have been the only source of supply for some auto parts stores, we could have used the antifreeze as an incentive to buy other products as well. But without it in just a few months the business failed and all of the employees, including me, were laid off.
When facing problems, we need to look around before we give up and see if there are any other factors involved. The disciples had at least looked around. They knew there was a huge amount of people that needed to be fed. They also knew exactly how much food was available and had considered other options as well. We must do the same. But as with the disciples we need to go one step further and take what we have to the Lord. In His hands it will be enough.