How do you handle challenges when feeling overwhelmed? How do you provide enough when resources are limited? How can you be successful when it seems the odds are against you?
Sometimes we get so focused on our obstacles that we forget the good nature of our God. Before the children of Israel went into the Promised Land, Moses sent out twelve spies, one from each tribe. On their return, ten of the spies brought a bad report. “The people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large…We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” (Numbers 13:28, 31)
The spies made the mistake of only looking at what they could see. They looked at the size of the problem rather than the power of God and his promise to help. So overwhelmed were they that they felt weak and small. “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:33)
As a result of this pessimist report, the children of Israel rebelled and wandered in the desert for forty years. How sad that their lack of faith kept them from enjoying the land of milk and honey. How sad that we often repeat their mistake.
Edwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, writes, “Perhaps the greatest sin of Christians in any century is the mistake made by the spies: facing human problems with human resources.”
When facing a challenge – large or small – we shouldn’t get hung up on asking, “How much can I do?” Rather, we should ask, “How much can God do?” The little boy with fives loaves and two fish didn’t have enough to feed the five thousand…but he gave everything to Jesus, and Jesus did the rest.
God seems to do his best work when we invite him into our problems rather than trying to solve them on our own. He shows up when we are too tired to keep on fighting. So, rather than focusing on our limitations or giving excuses as to why something can’t be done, we should spend more time going to God and asking for his help. We don’t need to feel like grasshoppers.