Lately I feel stretched. The kids are needy. The husband is needy. Heck, I'm even needy these days. Fall routine has pulled us apart and we need each other. We just need to be met where we are. Being needy reminds me of this story.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
He feeds the 5,000 in order to demonstrate who he is.
"When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, "Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!" John 6:14
There are so many truths to be learned from this one miracle.
Have you ever felt like there were masses of people around you all needing something, all needing too many things for you to supply at one time, things you couldn't give?
I feel this way all too often. My husband, my children and those in my sphere of influence who make up each close relationship in my life all need things from me. Sometimes just five hungry people overwhelm me. I can't imagine five thousand!
This must have been how the disciples felt when Jesus told them to feed five thousand hungry people who had come to hear Jesus teach. They must have been thinking, "No way!" Actually, they almost said it. "Philip replied, 'It would take a small fortune to feed them!'" John 6:7
So many times we figure the task God is asking us to do is impossible so we proclaim to God how hard it is and we stop. We do nothing.
When Jesus asked Philip how to feed all those people, He already knew what He was going to do. He was only asking to test Philip. Wow! He didn't really expect an answer or an argument. Jesus expected an agreement.
"Jesus soon saw a great crowd of people climbing the hill, looking for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Philip, where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. John 6:5-6
We should answer God more like Andrew did, "Here's a little, it's all that's around." Andrew gives the Lord all he can scrounge up.
It is a little boy's lunch of five small barley loaves and two small fish.
I believe it is amazing this boy shared at all. My boys certainly don't willingly give up food, especially when they're hungry!
But, this young boy gives all he has and God multiplies it so much that all 5,000 were fed and twelve whole baskets were leftover!
Jesus commands the disciples to gather up the leftovers so that none will be wasted. He not only multiplies it to meet the current needs, He multiplies enough to meet future needs.
Feeding the 5000 is about taking a little bit, a small amount that is hard to give, and letting Jesus multiply it in our lives. This is my time, my energy, my knowledge, my affection, anything that others are asking me to give. In order to multiply it, I must sacrifice by giving to others.
Jesus gives me a little and requires me to give that little bit sacrificially to my multitude and somewhere in this process multiplies it around to everyone and none of us go away needy.
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other ... Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:12-13a & 15
Dear Lord, give me the courage to stretch myself today. Use me to meet the needs of others. Teach me to give my all for You. Amen.