Have you ever experienced God’s math in your life? Starting with so little and it becoming so much more.
I was introduced to God’s math by a woman with more faith than I have ever seen. In fact, her faith was so big, even me, the overly optimistic one said, “Girl, now this isn’t realistic.” She told me, “No, Pamela, it’s not. This is God’s math.” And she was right. God did the the most unrealistic, overflowing things, and he did it where there was practically nothing to begin with.
Did you know God does math? Oh, he loves numbers! He shows off in numbers. Especially the ones that make absolutely no sense. Let me show you.
Today, we’re going to look at two stories in the bible that often get confused for the same story, but they’re not the same. They are different. You’ve likely heard of Jesus feeding the crowd, but did you know he did it twice?
The first time is in Matthew 14: 13-21. A large crowd has gathered to see Jesus, and Jesus is healing their sick. Night time comes and Jesus has compassion on the crowd and wants to feed them. The disciples think he’s crazy and want to send the people away. But Jesus asks, “what do you have?” They have only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus says, “bring it to me”. He gives thanks, he breaks it and he gives it to the disciples and the disciples give it to the crowd. Everyone ate and was satisfied. Afterward, they picked up 12 baskets full of leftover pieces. Those who ate were about 5,000 men, besides women and children.
The numbers here are important because we’re looking at God’s math. Did you know that’s why scripture passed down through all these translations and generations retains the numbers. God says these are my numbers and they’re important. He’s showing us his math. So, let’s pay attention. We have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish for 5,000 men. Then we have 12 baskets of leftovers. So, 5 for 5,000 with 12 leftover.
The second time is just one chapter later. We talked about this miracle earlier this week as we wondered why Jesus made them wait 3 days for healing when he could have healed them all immediately. Now we understand Jesus draws us in to do even more for us in the wait. But now, let’s focus on the math. Matthew 15: 29-38. Again, we have a large crowd gathering around Jesus and he begins healing their sick. After 3 days Jesus has compassion on the crowd and wants to feed them. Again, the disciples think he’s crazy and want to send the people away.
Now, isn’t that funny? It was just one chapter ago the disciples were actively involved in this tremendous miracle of Jesus feeding a crowd, but here they are going through the same thing wanting to just avoid it. Isn’t that us? We would rather avoid it than see Jesus work a miracle. No girl, don’t run from this. Remember what he has done for you before and watch him do it again!
Jesus asks, “what do you have?” This time, they have 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish. Almost word for word, Jesus does the same thing again. He gives thanks, he breaks it, and he gives it to the disciples and the disciples give it to the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward, they picked up 7 baskets full of leftover pieces. Now there were 4,000 men who had eaten, besides women and children.
The numbers are important for God’s math. This time, we have 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish for 4,000 men. Then we have 7 baskets of leftovers. So, 7 for 4,000 with 7 leftover.
The greatest miracle in God’s math is revealed when you look at these two stories together. If you can, write this down so you can see it for yourself.
5 for 5,000 with 12 leftover.
7 for 4,000 with 7 leftover.
There was less to begin with for the larger crowd. Only 5 loaves of bread versus 7 loaves of bread, to feed 5,000 men instead of 4,000 men. And although it started with less for a greater need, the leftovers were even bigger. 12 baskets of leftovers versus 7.
What does God’s math show us? The miracle that started with the least ended with the most!
Why had I never noticed this before? I glazed right over the numbers and just said “yay, Jesus!” But God wants you and I to see his math today. (Thank you Elevation Church Podcast for helping me see this!)
The miracle that starts with the least ends with the most. What began as 7 loaves became 7 baskets of leftovers. What began as only 5 loaves became 12 baskets of leftovers.
God doesn’t need MORE to begin with. He’s not waiting for you to be able to bring him more so he can do more with it. Whatever you have is what he needs.
How many days sober you have, bring that to him.
How much energy you have left, bring that to him.
How many broken pieces of a dream you have left, bring that to him.
How little money you have left, bring that to him.
How little time you have, bring that to him.
How many ideas you have left, bring that to him.
How many friends you have left, bring that to him.
How many clients you have left, bring that to him.
How many chances you have left, bring that to him.
How much willpower you have left, bring that to him.
Honey, the smaller that is, the more God can do with it! Your miracle may be starting with just a little, but that makes all the room for God’s math to end with the most!
The enemy has been trying to discourage you and tell you what you have could never be enough. You could never start with what you have and get where you want to go. And he’s right. You couldn’t. That’s not even realistic. But God’s inviting you into the world of God Math!
Jesus said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Weakness by definition is a state of lack. Your state of lack is where Jesus’ power works best!
Tell me again what you’re lacking. Tell me again where you only have a little and know that could never be enough. Tell me again where you’ve been thinking you have to wait until you have more, then maybe God can do something with it. My sister, your “little” with God’s math becomes the greatest miracle!
What do you have to do? You have to bring it to him. You have to let him bless it, break it, then spread it out!
You’re not going to understand this. It will not make sense. You won’t be able to explain it to anyone else. All you can say is, I’m bringing my lack to the one who’s power works best in less.
That’s it. That’s your statement for this day. That’s your affirmation. That’s what God is offering for you to cling to:
I’m bringing my lack to the one who’s power works best in less!