5 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?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “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 the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 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.” (John 6:5-12 NIV)
A great crowd had been following Jesus since He stepped foot out of the boat on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. They kept following Him up on the mountainside. Everyone was hungry so Jesus asked the logical question–“Who’s going to the store?” Phillip knew that with more than 5000 people present it would take a pile of money to buy enough food to feed everyone. One of the other disciples, Andrew, spotted a kid with a basket of five loaves of bread and two fish. It’s interesting that John tells us they were “small” loaves and “small” fish. A big crowd. Five small loaves. Two small fish. I can only imagine the looks Andrew got from the other disciples. Andrew knew it was crazy. After he pointed out the bread and fish he said, “…but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus didn’t even offer an answer.
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Jesus took what was available, He blessed it, and then the food was handed out. John tells us that what was available was more than was needed to meet the needs of those hungry folks who had been following Jesus. It was not only enough, it was more than enough. After everyone was finished the leftovers were gathered…12 baskets full of leftovers!
This story challenges me. I sometimes look at myself and ask, “What gifts do I have to offer? How can what I am able to do be of any help in this situation?” I sometimes get off track and get discouraged by all that I lack. I can forget about what I’ve been given. God hasn’t called me to be what I am not. He has called me to use what I’ve got available to bless the lives of others, serve those in need, and glorify Him through it all. I don’t have much. Neither did the little boy with the small loaves and fish. I’ve got to remind myself that what he had available was more than enough in the hands of Jesus. If I can remember that then I’ve got to believe that it will help me to remember that what I’ve been given, what I am, is more than enough if I allow Jesus to use me to do His will.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will use who I am and what You have given me to do Your will today. Help me to remember that “little” is more than enough in Your hands.