“What Have You Done for Me Lately?”

The Green Bay Packers were blessed with Hall of Fame caliber quarterbacking for more than three decades, from Brett Favre’s arrival in 1992 to Aaron Rodgers’ departure in 2023. Both names usually grace lists of the top 10 quarterbacks in NFL history. But both men also have their detractors. Each has won only one Super Bowl and they are a combined 3-7 in NFC championship games. As they departed Green Bay, each was asked: “What have you done for me lately?”

Almost all coaches and players, actors, artists, writers, directors and many other professionals face that question at some point in their careers. And all those pros know that it comes with the territory. But would you ever dare to ask God, “What have You done for me lately?” The answer is yes, and often we don’t realize we’re doing it. When we pray over and over for something and God doesn’t give the answer we want, we can become frustrated. That frustration is a sign that we’ve forgotten God’s past faithfulness. God can do something utterly amazing in our lives, and just days later we’ve forgotten it, focusing on what we want Him to do next. There is a great illustration of this in Mark 6:35-52.

Here we see the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 men (and uncounted women and children) with five loaves and two fish. Not only were all fed, but there were also 12 baskets full of food left over. Next, Jesus does something very curious. He directs the 12 disciples to go ahead of him to Bethsaida by boat while he goes by foot. They are stymied by a storm until Jesus walks out to them:

He was about to pass by them, but when they saw Him walking on the lake, they thought He was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw Him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then He climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. Mark 6:48-52 (NIV)

Why did Jesus have them go by boat? What does John mean by “He was about to pass by them? What hadn’t they understood about the loaves? I believe Jesus was trying to make a point the disciples missed at the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus did more than feed a large crowd. He showed He can do what is necessary in any situation. Leftover food shows He’s a God of abundance, not a God of just enough. But the disciples apparently missed that message. So, Jesus showed them again, this time he defied the law of physics by walking on water and calming the storm. Now the disciples were so sure of who He was they worshiped Him, the first recorded incident of them responding in this way.

Some commentators suggest that “pass by them” refers to an epiphany, as when God “passed by” Moses and Elijah. Maybe the loaves and fish left the 12 thinking Jesus was no different than Moses and the manna in the desert. But only God controls the forces and laws of nature. What’s the lesson here for us?

Have you ever been unimpressed with something God has done in your life, especially after time passes? “Well, yes, I was thankful for that, but it was a long time ago and now it really doesn’t seem like such a big deal.” In other words, “What have you done lately for me God?” Here’s an answer:

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)

Because His faithfulness is perfect, we can trust that He will do wonderful things in the future. And remember, among those wonderful things is Jesus dying on the cross, providing us with sustaining grace now and saving grace that buys us eternity with Him. When we remember that, we will never be tempted to ask God: “What have you done for me lately?”

— Pastor Jerry Bader, Samaritan’s Heart Mission Church

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