I’ve been struggling on what to write about this week. It really hit me, this week needs to be more about encouragement than it does formatting a radio station. I know many of you are running non-profit radio stations. The vast majority of my time is spent fundraising for many of you. I know the stress of finances. I ran my own non-profit ministry for a decade. Making payroll, keeping the lights on, paying rent, fixing what is broke and some how trying to keep a little extra in the bank for those rainy days. If you run a non-profit station, the money issue just never ends.
This article might be perfect timing for you today. Perhaps you are really stressed over your donations or lack thereof. I think this passage of scripture can really bring you some encouragement. Earlier in the book of Mark you can read about how Jesus fed more than 5,000 with just 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Everyone ate until they were full and yet there was still 12 baskets of leftovers. We often talk about this miracle. Now watch this. His disciples of course saw this and no doubt where blown away like anyone who saw it was. This happens again in Mark chapter 8. Take a second and read through it.
Mark 8-10, At about this same time he again found himself with a hungry crowd on his hands. He called his disciples together and said, “This crowd is breaking my heart. They have stuck with me for three days, and now they have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they’ll faint along the way—some of them have come a long distance.”
4 His disciples responded, “What do you expect us to do about it? Buy food out here in the desert?”
5 He asked, “How much bread do you have?”
“Seven loaves,” they said.
6-10 So Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. After giving thanks, he took the seven bread loaves, broke them into pieces, and gave them to his disciples so they could hand them out to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He pronounced a blessing over the fish and told his disciples to hand them out as well. The crowd ate its fill. Seven sacks of leftovers were collected.
Again, Jesus makes nothing into something. This is the second time the disciples watch Jesus take a few loaves of bread to feed thousands of people. Once again, Jesus provided more than enough. They ended up picking up 7 sacks of leftovers. Jesus just didn’t give the bare minimum, he provided all they wanted to eat and they had leftovers. Jesus gave to them in an abundance, which makes this next passage of scripture so disturbing.
Mark 8:13-15, 13 He then left them, got back in the boat, and headed for the other side. But the disciples forgot to pack a lunch. Except for a single loaf of bread, there wasn’t a crumb in the boat. Jesus warned, “Be very careful. Keep a sharp eye out for the contaminating yeast of Pharisees and the followers of Herod.”
16-19 Meanwhile, the disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus overheard and said, “Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all? Remember the five loaves I broke for the five thousand? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”
They said, “Twelve.”
20 “And the seven loaves for the four thousand—how many bags full of leftovers did you get?”
21 He said, “Do you still not get it?”
Wow, twice now they have seen Jesus provide in abundance for over 4,000 people at one event with just a few pieces of bread. Now you have a few guys in a boat with one loaf of bread and they begin to freak out because they don’t have enough food. I first read this and thought, how stupid can you be? Then God brought to my mind how many miracles he’s done in my life. How he has provided financially for me over the years and yet when financial hardships come my way, I often begin to stress and freak out. I am sure Jesus has said the same out about me, “Bill, do you still not get it?” To be honest, the answer is no at times. I focus on the problem and not the history God has with me and how he has supplied my needs.
So hears my question to you today. Are you facing tough times financially for your station? Are you up against a financial mountain? Take a minute and write down a few times in the past where God has provided miraculously for your ministry. Look at the history of what God has done for your station. Do you think He’s going to forget about you this time through?
I’ll finish up today with a great quote from Joni Eareckson Tada, “Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.”
I hope you’ll find this encouraging today. We all need this reminder.