Distributors Not Manufacturers

by Joanne Viola, Treasurer

“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people.”
(John 6:11, NLT)

He climbed up the hill and sat down with His disciples. No matter where He went, a crowd followed Him. They wanted to see His next miracle.

That day was no different. A huge crowd of people surrounded Jesus. He turned to His disciples and asked: “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” (John 6:5).

The question Jesus asked them was to present the problem. To word it another way, Jesus was asking, “How do we meet this need?”

The Gospels present four solutions:

  1. Let the people meet their own need..“Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.” (Mark 6:35-35)
  2. Raise the money to meet the need. “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” (John 6:7)
  3. Use what you have to meet the need. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” (John 6:9)
  4. Bless it, thank God for it, and hand it out. “Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish.” (John 6:11)

The lesson seems very simple:
There is a need,
give all you have to Jesus,
and let Him do the rest.

As the loaves and fish were distributed, no one knew in advance what was going to occur. They had no idea the modest supply would feed as many as it did, nor that there would be some leftover.

They simply handed it out in obedience.

The sentence stands out in my Wiersbe Study Bible Commentary: “We are distributors, not manufacturers.”

Each month we wait prayerfully for God to supply what needs to be distributed. Rather than focusing on specific needs, we ask God to show us how to distribute the month’s funds to the Lulu Tree pastors in each country we’re privileged to partner with, for He alone knows their every need.

We pray for our partners and donors who faithfully come alongside The Lulu Tree. We thank God for His provision, for He alone is our Provider. Then we distribute all that has come in, emptying the bank account for Him to fill again the next month.

This journey of faith has been one of fear and trembling. It has also been one of great joy and excitement.

Every month He reminds us to simply obey Him.
Every month we’re reminded of the truth.
We are merely “distributors” and
He alone is the “Manufacturer.”

 Where can we find bread to feed all these people? We can’t. But He can and does. And our faith rises to praise His Name and trust His faithfulness, again and again and again.