This is a guest post by Wayne Stiles. You can download his free e-book on how to grow strong in the Christian life. I subscribe to his blog and really enjoy how he connects the Bible and its lands to our everyday real life!
Also, I loved his book, Waiting on God—What do do when God does nothing!
Enter my contest to win a free copy of that book. Just leave a comment below!
Close one eye and look closely at a marble. It seems massive. In fact, the marble is all you see. It dwarfs everything else. But its size is an illusion.
A basketball is bigger. The planet earth is even bigger. Come to think of it, God is infinitely bigger than your marble. Your problems are like that.
Life is filled with marbles. When you fixate on your marbles, you can’t see the reality that they are small in comparison to God’s power.
Sure, they’re real. Of course they hurt. But your life is more than your problems, just as the world is more than your marbles. Or it can be. You can stop staring at your marbles. You only need to sit up, blink a few times, and look around.
God is much bigger than your marbles.
Playing Marbles with Jesus
Jesus gave a bag of marbles to His disciples one day. More than 5000 marbles, in fact. They described it this way:
His disciples came up to Him and began saying,
The place is desolate and it is already quite late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
But He answered and said to them,
You give them something to eat!”
And they said to Him,
Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” —Mark 6:35-37
The disciples did what we do. We ask God to get rid of the problem.
Jesus’ command was as astonishing as it was emphatic:
YOU give them something to eat.”
The men leaned in to look closely at the marbles, they did the math, and they saw the impossibility of Jesus’ command.
And that is exactly what we need to learn as well.
(Photo by wjlonien, Own work, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
The Lord will lead you to do what you cannot do on your own.
God has called us to some impossible tasks. The odds will always be 5000 to 12.
- Your marriage will always be beyond you.
- Your children will always require more emotional strength than you have.
- Broken relationships will seem irreconcilable.
- Your marbles always seem bigger than you can handle. And they are.
Your education, your money, your planning, your energy, your influence, your personality—everything you have at your disposal will fail to solve the problem.
The disciples focused on their marbles and saw the inadequacy of their resources. Even though they were willing, they were unable to do what Jesus had said.
The Lord can enable you to do what you cannot do on your own.
If Christ called them to feed more than 5000 people, and what they had was inadequate, the Lord must have had a source of supply they had overlooked.
Jesus took the few loaves and fish and multiplied them for the more than 5000 people that day (Mark 6:44). The number of people mentioned reveal that the size of the marble is absolutely irrelevant. God is bigger—much, much bigger.
After the disciples saw the true size of this marble—small to God—Jesus immediately tossed them another marble in the form of a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Their response? Yep. They focused on the marble.
They had to learn what we have to learn. Our marbles come in all colors and shapes, but none of them are bigger than God. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5), but we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).
Get Some Perspective on Your Marbles
I don’t mean to minimize your problems. They’re real. They hurt. They even seem cruel at times. Instead, I’m suggesting you keep them in perspective.
God asks rhetorical questions of Himself that we should ponder:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? . . . Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. —Isaiah 40:12, 15
Yes, the marble is there. But keep it in perspective.
God is bigger.
A Photo to Help Keep Things in Perspective
I’ve made a printable that goes along with Wayne’s excellent post. I adapted the graphic above to fit in a 4 x 6 frame vertically. Just request a copy and I’ll email you a digital version of the photo. You can print it at home or your favorite photo processor and pop it in a frame to remind you where to take your troubles!
Will you win the free copy of Wayne’s book I’m giving away?
Next Friday, I’ll randomly select someone to win a copy of Wayne’s amazing book: Waiting on God—What to do when God does nothing. All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment on this post below.
If you don’t want to share publicly about your problems, just leave a general comment you feel comfortable sharing. Extra entries to anyone who shares this post on social media and tags Making It Real Ministries on Facebook or @LauraNaiser on Twitter!
What's your marble? Share what feels like the weight of the world to you right now. I’ll lift you up to our faithful and mighty God in prayer! And you’ll be entered to win a copy of Wayne’s book Waiting on God! You can leave a comment by clicking here.