"You give them something to eat!"
In Mark 6 we read an interesting story which I think carries a significant message for the body of Christ. Mark tells of a time when Jesus was trying to give His disciples an opportunity to get away to a quiet place and rest. They had been so busy with people coming and going that they hadn't even had a chance to eat. So they got in a boat and were heading off to a secluded place by themselves. However, the crowd saw them going and got there ahead of them. When Jesus saw the crowd, He had compassion on them and began to teach them many things. Now here is where Jesus tries to get His disciples to learn an important message about how they see themselves.
It was getting late and the disciples wanted Jesus to send the crowd away so the people could go buy themselves something to eat. However, Jesus said, "You give them something to eat!" Of course we know the rest of the story, He multiplied the loaves and fishes from a little boy's lunch and fed the crowd of five thousand. The point is, Jesus knew His disciples needed to begin to see themselves as ones who could access heaven for others, and not just watch Jesus meet everyone's needs all the time. He told them 'you meet the need!'
There are times we need the comfort and ministering from others in the body of Christ, but there are also times that we need to get past what we are going through and see ourselves as the ones with the answers for others. If you know how to pray for yourself, then you know how to pray for others. If you know what it's like to feel hungry, as the disciples were at that moment, then you can have compassion on others going through the same thing. This compassion leads the way to the miraculous. Sometimes we just need to stop focusing on our own stuff, and ask the Lord what He would have us do to help other people.
The Lord doesn't want you to fall into the trap of seeing yourself as a powerless Christian who has too many faults, shortcomings, or problems to be able to help anyone else. You have the Greater One living in you and He has the answers to everything! Don't think that you have to be perfect before God can use you to minister to others. Nothing would ever get done if that were the case! You can do, as David did, and strengthen yourself in the Lord. (1 Samuel 30:6). Let's not be like those who leech off our pastors, friends and others we esteem in the Lord, by looking for them to counsel us, pray with us, or encourage us all the time. Instead let's be like Jesus and minister life wherever we go. Let's free up our pastor's time so he can minister to those who are in a more desperate situation than we are at the moment. In fact, maybe we can pray for our pastor, send him an encouraging note, say something that brings a breath of fresh air to him, rather than another complaint or problem. You know when you do, the Lord will take care of your needs very well. If you need help, by all means ask for it, but just get ready for the times when the Lord smiles at you and says, "you be the one."