Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott


August 30, 2011

Dear Friend,

When you face a challenging situation for which no resolution is apparent, what goes through your mind and emotion?  Do you “get on the balcony” and think through new alternatives and try to solve it yourself (or yourselves)?  Do you wrestle with feelings of hopelessness?


A large crowd gathered around Jesus who asked Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” John 6:5b* The apostle John makes this interesting observation about Jesus, “He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.” John 6:6


For Jesus the resolution of the situation was never in doubt.  He wasn’t anxious, nervous, uptight, confused, or upset.  In fact, John reports that Jesus used the situation as an opportunity to test Philip.


Philip has no clue what to do!  “Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’” John 6:7  Neither did Andrew, “But what are they (five barley loaves and two fish) among so many people?” John 6:8b  And neither looked to Jesus!


Sometimes you and I have no clue what to do either!


At this point in the story, Jesus takes over, has the people sit down, breaks the fish and the loaves into enough to feed everyone.


In whatever situation you face, be alert to the equivalent of the five loaves and two fish our Lord has given you and trust him.


Facing a huge enemy army, Jehoshaphat prayed, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b.  He passed the trust test!


With joy - E. Stanley Ott

Copyright 2011 E. Stanley Ott

*Scripture from the NRSV