Five thousand men and their families mingled in a remote place where they’d gathered to listen to Jesus teach. As the day drew to a close, the disciples urged Jesus to shoo the people away to nearby farms and villages where they could buy food. Jesus wouldn’t hear of it. “You feed them,” He said.
“You must be joking,” the disciples answered. “With what? It would take months to earn enough money to buy food for this crowd.” Jesus could not be deterred. “How much bread do you have?” He asked. “Go and find out.”
The disciples did exactly as He said. Before long, they returned with their answer: “Five loaves of bread and two fish” (Mark 6:38).
Anyone could see that five loaves and two fish wouldn’t feed 5,000 men plus their wives and kids. Anyone, that is, except Jesus. He always saw life through a unique lens, and this scenario was no exception. He instructed the disciples to seat the people in an orderly fashion, and then He took the loaves and fish, blessed them, and broke them into bite-sized pieces for distribution.
Whadya know? Everyone enjoyed their fill and, unlike potlucks where the food sometimes runs out before everyone’s had their turn at the table, there were 12 baskets of leftovers.
I smile every time I read this story because it reminds me of God’s ability to do the miraculous.. It also reminds me of my early writing days. I used to walk a long stretch of road every morning near our home, and I’d pray, “God, I believe You’ve called me to write. I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing, but I’ll do my best to learn and then apply what I’ve learned. Take my little loaves and fish, bless them, and break them, and feed hungry hearts.”
At first I asked God to satisfy hundreds with my words. Then one day, I thought, Why settle for mere hundreds? Why not thousands? And so I stepped up my prayers a notch. A few weeks later, I thought, Why only thousands? Why not millions? Surely there are millions of people in the world who could use a dash of hope and encouragement. And so I stepped up my prayers another notch.
God answered my simple request within months. He took my meager but sincere efforts, blessed them, broke them into bite-sized pieces, and distributed them to millions via magazine articles. Imagine that! He’s still in the miracle-working business after all.
Each time He calls me to a new venture, I feel like the disciples might have felt when they handed five loaves and two fish to Jesus. The task appeared daunting and the supplies seemed ridiculously inadequate. But Jesus didn’t seem to notice. Both then and now, He simply used what was available and got the job done.
What task seems daunting to you today? Give Jesus your five loaves and two fish and ask Him to bless them for His purposes. Then stand back and watch Him work, my friend. Be prepared for a miracle.