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There is a story in the bible about Jesus feeding a multitude of people with only a few pieces of bread and some fish. It is a pretty cool story, but stuff like that does not happen now, at least that is what I always thought. I can believe in God for minor miracles like healing a sore throat or providing finances, but I struggle with believing God for the big stuff like multiplying food or healing the blind.
The thing about God and miracles is that it is just what He does. He does not need to perform a task analysis and compare minor vs. major miracles. He just does what He does and He calls it ‘good.’
I saw this firsthand in Oaxaca, Mexico. We were a group of 10 ministry school students and alumni on a short-term mission trip. Together, with a group of long-term missionary ambassadors and local pastors, we held a festival that was the first of its kind. A “history making festival” is what they were calling it.
We offered games, entertainment, haircuts, and food all for free. We even presented a skit that displayed God’s love in action and a gospel presentation that rounded out the evening. That night was filled with God’s love and power in ways I had never seen. Thousands of people heard the gospel and hundreds decided to accept Jesus as their savior that night. As an added bonus, God’s healing poured through the event and I, personally, got to experience Him heal through me.
The night was filled with so many miracles, but the biggest for me was seeing God feed His children.
We had tamales, bread, and coffee for the masses. People began lining up to receive food an hour before the dinner table even opened. We knew we were in for a treat that night.
We began serving 1-2 tamales per person. We served and served for what seemed like hours and there still seemed to be no end to the line in sight. And then things got crazy! We noticed that as the line of people grew longer, our pots of tamales grew too!
I know… impossible right? Or maybe we were confused by the mass of people and tamales? Trust me, I came up with every possible explanation for the mystery of the multiplying tamales. I thought we clearly did not know how to count or we were delirious from a long day, but no matter what story I came up with, the reality was that we had more pots of tamales than we did a half hour before.
Finally, I realized that even if we did not understand it, we had to do something about it. So we started handing out more tamales. We were giving people five, six, or however many tamales could fit on their plate. This was a rush! We could not believe the tamales still seemed to be overflowing out of the pots.
After some time, when we counted our pots again, we had more pots! Confused, we could only come to one conclusion: hand out more tamales! So we started giving people bags of 10-20 tamales. We continued to serve and eventually fed everyone at the festival multiple times before the pots of tamales finally began to empty.
The rush of people and tamales never seemed to end that night, but when it did, I left the festival thinking I was probably just confused about the numbers and there was not anything miraculous about tamales. I later learned that we had over 5,500 people at the festival that night and there was no way we could have fed everyone with the amount of tamales we had originally.
But God could…and He did.
There were only a few of us at the food table who got to see firsthand God multiply the tamales. We got to see God’s power manifested in a way that we never could have believed otherwise.
Since that night in Oaxaca, I often reflect on God’s power and miracles and God continues to remind me that He uses miracles to feed us spiritually.
As He fed people that night in Oaxaca, He was also feeding me seeds of Faith. And as these seeds of faith take root in my heart, I find that I am no longer stuck thinking miracles are only for the bible.
Is there a box that you put God in? Something you secretly think He cannot do? Ask Him to break that box and show you that there is no limit to the miracles He can and will do. He will not disappoint you.
There is a story in the bible about Jesus feeding 5,000 people, but there is also a story in Oaxaca that forever remains in my heart; I call it the night of the unending tamales, the night I truly started believing in miracles.
Written by: Rosie