At times, we all face very difficult situations. In such circumstances we either take things in our own hands or take them into Christ’s hands. The former is usually a common reaction. Apostle Philip also once found himself in a similar situation as we read in John 6:1-13.
Five thousand men came to listen to Jesus’ teaching. Jesus then asked Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” It was a difficult situation because Jesus and his disciples had no bread let alone money to buy bread.
Philip did not respond to the question directly. Instead, he quickly calculated the cost of feeding such a number of people and concluded that it was impossible to feed them, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” responded Philip (7). He should have been good at Math!
Are we not like that at times? When faced with a difficult situation, like Philip we are quick to calculate in our wisdom and knowledge and conclude that such a situation is an impossibility forgetting that Jesus is God. Please note that the Scripture tells us that Jesus had deliberately asked Philip to test him for Jesus already had in mind what he was going to do (6). In a very situation we are in, God already knows how he will carry us through it.
Any way to cut the long story short, Philip was humbled as he witnessed with his own eyes how Jesus turned an impossible situation to a very possible one. The five thousand men were fully fed and twelve full baskets of left-over food were collected. I can only imagine how Philip felt as he gathered the left-over food. Joseph M. Scriven was right when he composed:
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
When faced with a challenge, let’s remember that we are limited but God isn’t. So take it to God in prayer and let him do as he pleases. It is important that I clarify it her e that we don’t take it to God in prayer with a demanding attitude. We don’t take it to God in prayer by banging tables and giving God an ultimatum.
Although such attitude is regarded as faith by some, the truth is that it is lack of faith and trust in God. When we pray like “God I want you to give me this right now, no further discussions” we are in essence saying, “God I don’t want your will in my life because I cannot fully trust your will to do me good.”
However, the right attitude is where we present our requests before God and fully trust his good and perfect judgment and say “yet not what I want, but let your will be done.” This is a biblical attitude of taking it to God in prayer (Matthew 6:10; 26:39, 42). When we take it to God in prayer like that we are always humbled because God in his good will “ Is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is a work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). If you doubt this, ask Apostle Philip and he will bear witness.