By Alex Florez
Scripture Reading: Matthew 10:1-4, Mark 6:7-56
I often feel ill-equipped to be a good daddy. I grew up without a father, and his absence deeply impaired my sense of what fatherhood should look like.
And yet, time and time again, God has shown me that He has given me all I need to fulfill the calling to be a father to two girls and one little boy. Even when I feel incapable, God reminds me that I simply need to show up and trust Him. In the space of that obedience, Jesus renders me capable of discharging the duties He has assigned me.
When Jesus commissioned His disciples, He sent them out with scant material resources: no food, no luggage, no money. What He did give them, however, was authority to carry out the work He needed them to do in His name (Matthew 10:1–4).
Today’s reading powerfully illustrates how Jesus responds to those who draw close to Him, and He does so in spite of His disciples’ misgivings. “He saw a large crowd and had compassion on them” (Mark 6:34). He proceeded to teach them, and then, quite famously, he provided a meal. Even when the disciples thought they were unprepared and under-resourced, Jesus delivered.
Recently, a friend I consider a brother and whom my children call “uncle” took me and our sons on a fly-fishing expedition. He ambitiously set it all up and graciously paid for everything. Walking into the water, I was extremely excited for the experience, but I began to hear those familiar echoes of inadequacy resonate within me: “You don’t know how to fly-fish, much less teach your son how to do it. Do you need a stranger to give your son this unforgettable moment? Ha! You didn’t even have enough money to pay for any of this! How pathetic!”
But like God gave the unqualified disciples what they needed, He met me in my inexperience and lack of resources. Even though they operated with a mentality of scarcity, Jesus created a breathtaking experience for all to witness. He fed thousands when His disciples believed they didn’t have what they needed.
In spite of my self-absorbed feelings of inadequacy, Jesus gave my son an unforgettable “meal” of awe and wonder. Within minutes of entering the water, he hooked his first fish. By the end of the trip, my little guy had reeled in seven trout. He held up each one of his fish to me so I could share in his joy. He looked up at me, and I could swear his eyes said, “Look what I did, daddy! Isn’t this amazing! Aren’t you proud of me!” As we waded back to shore, he thanked his “uncle” for an amazing day, and quite to my surprise, he thanked me even though I had done nothing. God let me participate in the miracle of abundance even though I brought nothing to the equation but myself. I even caught a pretty nice trout, too. Isn’t Jesus so generous!
Written by Alex Florez