“What is man that you are mindful of him? The son of man that you care for him?” So asks the Bible in several places.
Indeed, what is man that God should spare him a second thought? Is man a miniature version of God, with all the qualities and all the abilities of God Himself – just at a reduced level?
After all, the Bible does say that God made man in His image. So, are we all ‘mini-gods?’
Or is humanity so vastly different to God that it is hard to find any point of similarity between the two? For the Bible also says that God is not a man that He should lie, or a son of man that he should change is mind.
The reality is that there is a vast, immeasurable gulf between us and God. If we could picture it, it would be like comparing a grain of sand to Mt Everest.
Except that you could quantify the difference between a grain of sand and Mt Everest. You can’t quantify the infinite difference between God and man.
And yet, God chooses to do His work through us weak, foolish, and flawed human beings.
In John 6, a crowd of maybe 20,000 people has been listening to Jesus teach all day. And they are getting hungry.
The disciples have no idea what to do about the problem. To give a crowd this size even a mouthful would cost $40,000 – assuming you could find a shop in that barren region. So they suggest Jesus send everyone home to eat.
But there is an impoverished young boy there who brought his lunch along – 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish. That will barely feed the boy himself, let alone all those people.
Not a problem for Jesus though. He takes 5 barley loaves offered by the boy and feeds all those hungry people until they are full. And He creates so much that there are 12 baskets full of leftovers.
The God who created the sun, the moon, the stars, the whole universe out of nothing with a mere word doesn’t even need 5 loaves and willing humans to do His miraculous work.
But He chooses to do His work through us. He chooses to take our paltry and petty offerings, and use them to feed the world.
The great 5th century pastor and theologian said, “Without God, we cannot. Without us, He will not.” God – for reasons we find difficult to fathom – prefers to involve us in His work, even though we do it imperfectly and often with wrong motives.
But it is all part of teaching us about who is really the source of our supply. We too quickly look at what we have to offer, or how we can drum up enough money to meet that need or fix that problem.
And sadly, it is only when we realise that we don’t have enough and become desperate that we turn to Him for His solution, His provision.
We should have turned to Him first with our 5 loaves and 2 fish. We should have said, “Lord, I have so little to offer, and the need is so great. I can’t meet this need, Lord, even though I long to. But You can. Would you take this tiny offering and use it to meet this need?”
He doesn’t need much. He can use whatever we have to offer. We only need to trust Him to use it and to multiply it.
And He’s good at that. He’s done it before. He’ll do it again. He doesn’t need your much. In fact, He usually prefers to use your little. But He wants to use you when He does it.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me [2Cor 12:9].
He is indeed powerful. He is indeed mindful of us.