Loaves and Fishes

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The other day I showed up, feeling spent and worn, not sure if I had anything to give, or anything to offer. I went out of sheer obedience and the faithfulness that comes with making a commitment. I put on my brave face and entered the dark building. One of the first conversations I had was with someone I didn’t know. We chatted for a while about how and why we were there. Near the end of our conversation, he told me about the sermon that he had heard that morning at church. It was about the Loaves and the Fishes.

loaves-and-fishesFor a brief recap, let’s revisit the story in John.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

 

Firstly, I am struck that a young boy would offer his lunch to share to a crowd of 5,000 (5,000 men; if you count women and children the number of people increases substantially). Secondly, I am struck with what Jesus does with such a small offering.

It is small gift in our eyes. But in Jesus’ eyes, He doesn’t focus on what is there in front of Him… He sees the potential in the offering.

And in Jesus’ hands, look what happens: a miracle.

When we feel small, when we feel tired, when we feel not quite up to task, remember what Jesus can do with the small things. A simple offering. A small gift. Sometimes it might amount to simply our open heart, willing to listen to His voice and step out. Whatever we have to give, He can and will use for His glory.

It was like a burden lifted from me as the Spirit whispered the truths from the story into my wilted spirit.  Of course! In His hands, what is small can become a miracle. All he needs is the offering. Or that little grain of faith, no bigger than a mustard seed. Our willing self.

And that is what I offered. Just myself.

And that was enough for Jesus.

 

 

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