…nothing…but five loaves and two fish. Matthew 14:3-21 Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones, but I can remember days just like this. Except, in my house it was more like five slices of bread and two pieces of chicken! Okay – perhaps a bit exaggerated, but I will say that to this day I rarely order chicken when eating out. Nevertheless, there were times when things did get quite tight, but by the grace of God, we’ve never gone hungry. Jesus, even in his despair over John’s death has compassion for a crowd that longs to be fed. He will not send them away as his disciples suggest, merely out of their own limitation. The disciples don’t yet understand that to walk in the presence of God is to already be full. Jesus demonstrates that by lifting up our heart, hands, voice and all that we have in thanksgiving and praise, our limitations are transformed into sufficient abundance. To withdraw when in despair is a natural human response, yet a loving God calls us back that we may be filled and strengthened by his grace, knowing that through Christ we move forward and through Christ we have everything we need.
“You give them something to eat.” Mark 8:30-46 All they had were five loaves of bread and two fish! Yet God is not concerned with the how much but rather the heart that is willing even in the scarcest of times. Be thankful and give. God will not only provide the rest he will provide it abundantly.
…”I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves… and all ate and were filled. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men – Mark 6:30-46. Clearly feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish is a miracle of miracles. At my son’s pre-school no child ever went without lunch, even when someone forgot and there were many days when one or more children forgot their lunch. The teacher would orchestrate a table of sharing. Every child would put their sandwich for the day in the middle of the table and they would all sit around the table and eat one half sandwich at a time. Whatever snacks they had in their lunch they were allowed to keep or add to the buffet. There was always a few half sandwiches and some snacks left over. Perhaps not a miracle of miracles, but one of my most favored explanations of a Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Who Provides) for our needs today as well as a demonstration of faith and compassion. Christ is always at work through God’s people.