Feeding the 5000


I was speaking to my daughter Alicia last night and enjoying her faith and spirit, when she made a valuable observation. Quoting her husband’s recent Gospel Doctrine lesson, she called to my thinking the perspective of the disciples whom the Master had instructed to feed the multitude of 5000 men and their families with a few fishes and five loaves.

There must have been long moments of doubt and fear, of feeling inadequate and incapable. No amount of logic could have suggested a way for them to obey the Master’s commandment. Yet, they did as Christ instructed them, organizing the people into groups of hundreds and fifties, knowing all the while that there was no food, and very soon this fact would be known by everyone.

As I pondered their predicament, I realized that most of my life has been looking at the 5000 with a few fishes in my hand. As I have spoken to many of you, it seems apparent that your lives have been defined by the same impossible tasks, and the same gut-wrenching fear and feelings of inadequacy.

The next question was – how many of you have actually seen the 5000 fed and filled, and then taken up the twelve baskets of fragments? Alicia said that many hands went up, and faith filled the room as many testimonies bore witness to the Lord’s grace and deliverance.

Like Abraham, life presents us at times with impossible obstacles. Abraham’s great hope was in his beloved son Isaac, whom he was then commanded to slay as a sacrifice. Like Abraham, often we cannot see an earthly means to resolve the apparent paradox of our lives. Yet, the lesson God taught us in Abraham’s obedience was that faith and obedience pierce the impenetrable darkness. We don’t need to know how God will save us, or even when, only that He will – in some unexpected and perfect way. Abraham actually believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead if need be. This is the faith that overcomes the impossible. This is the faith that allows us to lay everything upon the altar, believing with great faith that our sacrifice and faith will be returned to us in a 100-fold blessing upon our heads.

I don’t really know why it is true, but it seems to be a tenet of faith, that the Lord delivers at 11:59 – a few seconds to midnight. I don’t know if it is because He wants us to maintain faith in Him even while the floodwaters rise, and our lives power dive toward ruin, or if it is simply better for us, and by diamond-hard believing the blessings are greater even still.

What I do know is that He never fails to save.  When we put our trust in Him, and we wait, He does come, and the 5000 are always fed. I am a personal witness of these things. Miracles of deliverance and blessings of tender mercy have been the theme of my entire life. There has never been a time when I sought deliverance with faith empowered by obedience, and patience fueled by inspired faith, that relief failed to arrive, and most often in astonishing, unmistakably miraculously ways – almost always at the last possible moment.

Brother John

 © April 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved for the contents of this blog and website.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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3 Responses to Feeding the 5000

  1. Amy Weston says:

    Brother John,
    I hope you don’t mind me sharing an experience in the hopes that it may help someone else who may be feeling the buffetings of Satan as I was. For the last couple of weeks or so I have felt the fiery darts of the adversary to what has felt like an infinate degree. It consisted mostly of terrible unwanted thoughts about family, friends and mostly of myself (I will spare the details). And these thoughts were almost a constant, it felt as though there was a war going on in my brain (needless to say it felt like torture). It truly felt as though the mists of darkness were trying to disable me by bombarding my thoughts with evil. Last nigh it was getting to be unbearable, so I prayed for help and I talked to my husband about what was going on with me(he gave me some good advice). While we were speaking the thoughts came that I should pray for deliverance from these thoughts (which up to that point hadn’t occurred to me) and also that I should read your un-blog. So I read first and towards the end you said, “Miracles of deliverance and blessings of tender mercy have been the theme of my entire life. There has never been a time when I sought deliverance with faith empowered by obedience, and patience fueled by inspired faith, that relief failed to arrive, and most often in astonishing, unmistakably miraculously ways – almost always at the last possible moment.” Twice you mentioned the exact thing the spirit whispered to me earlier and you testified relief has always come. At that moment I knew exactly what I had to do. I know what you have said is true. He didn’t fail me, my mind became calm and peaceful, and to my recollection not one of those thoughts entered my mind today and that is a MIRACLE to me! He truly is Wonderful, Merciful, and Marvelous and I love Him! Thank you Brother John for being my angel when I needed one, for the un-blog and for speaking the words of Christ.
    Sister Amy

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  2. darrell brashear says:

    Beleieve it or not Brother John, I just had an amazing experience while reading this un-blog. Today has been a hard one for me. I have a chemicle imbalance which makes it very difficult sometimes. I can suffer through great periods of depression and darkness, and my mind gets really cloudy during these times. In such times, my thought processes are not clear, making it very difficult to hear any promptings from the Holy Spirit. There are times when promptings come very clearly, but the day to day promptings in everyday things I don’t hear. This condition in my life has seemed itself a parodox: The way to come unto Christ and partake of His goodness and love comes by hearing and following His voice, yet it seems impossible to do so completely with my condition. You mentioned something in this blog that hit home with me in a powerful way. These are the words…” Like Abraham, often we cannot see an earthly means to resolve the apparent paradox of our lives. Yet, the lesson God taught us in Abraham’s obedience was that faith and obedience pierce the impenetrable darkness. We don’t need to know how God will save us, or even when, only that He will – in some unexpected and perfect way.” I have often wondered if I would ever find deliverence from this crippling limitation in this life, and tonight when I read those words in this un-blog, I heard a still small voice assuring me that He would likewise deliver me, even though there doesn’t seem to be any earthly means of deliverence. I also got the impression that when the time comes that He does deliver me from this affliction, that it will strengthen my faith to the degree that I will be enabled to follow Him and trust Him through all the other paradoxes of life. It is truly my greatest desire to draw near to Him with a clear mind and heart. I long for that more than anything. Thanks for the words.
    Brother Darrell

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