Sunday, September 22, 2013

Give What You Have

I was reading this VERY FAMILIAR Bible story last week. Some Bible stories are so familiar to us that we have a tendency rush through them with the "been there, done that" mentality. Really, the feeding of 5,000 is one of those Bible stories we learn as children and hear over and over and over. It's a great story of a miracle, but often the focus of the story is about the miracle of Jesus.

For your reading pleasure, here's the account of this story from the passage I was reading. Go ahead, I'll wait until you're done...

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand - Matthew 14.13-21

As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. 
But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot 
 from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, 
and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, 
and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go 
to the villages and buy food for themselves.”

But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”

“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.

“Bring them here,” he said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. 

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, 
and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, 
he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people.  

They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up
 twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day,
 in addition to all the women and children!

So, did you see anything new in this passage? When I was reading this story last week, I suddenly noticed something I hadn't seen before. I don't know if it was the translation I was reading (NLT), if it was the Matthew passage instead of another Gospel, or maybe it was the Holy Spirit teaching me. Perhaps all three!

Here's what jumped out at me while reading it this time...

The disciples had this extremely practical idea: Let the people go home before dark to eat. I'm sure the disciples were shocked when Jesus told them, "You feed them" (verse 16). I'm imagining the disciples were a bit puzzled by that response. They already knew they did not have enough food available to feed that many people. Jesus asks them to bring what they have.

Just bring what you already have...

What you already have is enough...

Whatever God is calling me to do, I have enough. Just bring it.

You and I may not feel we are fully prepared, fully trained, or fully funded, before setting out to do something the Lord has called us to do. I know I often feel woefully inadequate, but actually that's probably a better place to be because God gets the glory in whatever happens instead of me.

There may be times when we are fully prepared. But, more often than not, we may be called to give from our weakness--inadequate as it may be.

By bringing what we have, Jesus blesses it and multiplies it--for His glory. 


Kristi said...

God calls us to do what we can with what we have and then to let Him take care of the rest, but it is so easy to forget that. We feel like we have to do everything and be everything for everyone at times, but we aren't called to do that. Jesus already did that and is continuing to do that. Thank you for sharing, Kristi!

Kristi said...

I am reading the bible from Genesis to Revelation right now, and have now made my way through all the Gospels, whose accounts are different. You're right, the disciples were being imminently practical-a reasonable solution to a problem...but God. So glad I followed you at the (in)courage link up and grateful that your message resonated with exactly where I am just now.
Peace and good to you in Jesus' name,

Kristi said...

So glad you stopped by! Grateful that this post had some meaning for you. I love Divine appointments. :-)