When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then He took them with Him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed Him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to Him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there.) But He said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. Luke 9:10-17 (NIV)
The auction put me through a wide range of emotions in a short 24-hour period. After cataloguing and inventorying all the donations on Friday night, I was left feeling anxious. When I knew that some items like the dinner at our Sunday School teachers’ house would go for several hundred dollars, but there were many things that would sell for just a few. I talked to some friends about it, and we reminded each other of the fish and loaves story that was our theme since we started. We came to the same conclusion we have always had, God would take what we had baked and caught and turn it into a miracle. But, still when I went home, I was unsettled and restless. I wandered around our house until about 12:30 AM, just looking through drawers, closets and cabinets hoping to find something of value to take. I made a few small baskets with my findings, but as the night wore on, had to admit that there was nothing in my house worth $12,000. I went to bed and lay there for a long time confessing my lack of faith and asking God to take charge not only of the auction, but of my heart as well. When I arrived at the church the next day, I discovered a cartload of beautiful collectible dolls. There was no name of a donor, only a sign saying Awesome Auction. My sister looked up one on E-bay and it was worth several hundred dollars. Two children came by with their dad wheeling bicycles into the room. They said that they wanted to give their bicycles for the auction. I told them how nice that was and asked, “Did you get new bicycles?” They said, “No,” that they would get some another day, but for today, they wanted to give what they had. I couldn’t believe their sweet sacrifice. So, greatly encouraged, I entered them into the computer. As the morning rolled on, other people brought in donations stating that they had forgotten to come in the night before or that they had just been given something else in addition to what they had already brought. By the time of the live auction, we had gone from 200 items to over 300 to sell. But, worry gripped me again as we had prepared for 180 people and only about 100 came. Now we had enough to offer, but what if there wasn’t enough money to buy everything at a good price. I need not have feared, for God was in control as we had asked Him to be. By evenings end, over $14,000 had been given for missions and ministries. Praise God! Like the disciples and like me, you may be in a situation where you look at what you have and say, “There is not enough.” But, God will work a miracle. He did 2,000 years ago, He did it at our auction, and He will do it for you as well.