Or Would You Rather be a Fish?
A few weeks ago, I was reading through this passage in Luke where Jesus fed the five thousand. As I read through it I began to see things from a unique perspective.
“When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds were aware of this and followed Him; and welcoming them, He began speaking to them about the kingdom of God and curing those who had need of healing.
12 Now the day was ending, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.” 13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.”14 (For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each.”15 They did so, and had them all sit down. 16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full.” Luke 9:10-17 NASB
So here is Jesus, tired from a day of healing and preaching when the disciples ask to send the multitude of people away to go find lodging and food on their own. They tell Jesus about the problem they are facing, “Dude, we can’t feed all these people because we are in an abandoned, forsaken place.” Of course, Jesus being the problem solver, sees beyond the circumstance and tells the disciples, “You feed them!” Quite perplexed, the disciples have no idea how that is going to happen. Even after they just spent an entire day of watching Jesus healing the multitude of people, they still could not comprehend the magnitude of Christ’s ability. Needless to say, they share with Jesus that they have “no more than” five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish. Now, if I were those loaves of bread or those fish I may be a little offended by that remark. If food had actual ears that they could hear from, it may have even sounded belittling to be seen as “no more than”. What if this is what the bread and fish were thinking, “That’s IT? That’s ALL we are to you? Are we NO MORE THAN just some piddly loaves of bread and worthless fish to you?” But the Lord knew the purpose that the bread and fish needed to serve. Christ took them into His hands, looked to Heaven and blessed them, he broke them and kept giving them to the disciples to feed the people. So even though the disciples didn’t think much of what the bread and fish could do, the Lord did a miraculous thing with them.
So, my main question to you is, “Have you ever thought of yourself as a loaf of bread or would you rather be a fish?”
Have you ever felt unimportant? Has someone ever told you that you were “no more than” a menial laborer, or a troubled teenager, or a simple stay at home mom? Perhaps you have been made to feel less than someone or have been unfairly compared to others. Maybe you have brought condemnation on yourself. Perhaps you were told something as a child that latched onto you and you have continued to embrace that negativity and believe the lie that was spoken over your life. Maybe you believe that there is no hope for you and you can never be used for anything good. Well, I’m here to tell you otherwise. You, my dear friend, need to be taken into the hands of the life-giving Christ. Just like He did with the bread and the fish, allow Him to wrap His arms around you and look to the Heavens and bless you. He loves you and believes in the God-ordained purpose He has for you life. Will life be perfect when you choose to serve Him? Absolutely not. Just like the bread and fish, you will be broken, you will feel pain, but that’s not the end of things because God is going to be by your side, loving you through it all (Romans 8:35-37). Even though the bread and fish were broken He knew they served a purpose, so he kept multiplying them because He needed the people to be fed so that the disciples could witness a miracle. God will allow you to go through the breaking process in life so that your character can be strengthened to reflect His love and light (Romans 5:3-5). He wants His power to be multiplied through your actions so that He can feed the needs of the multitude within the immediate circle of your life. He wants to use you to bless others and to be an example of His unconditional love, grace and promise (Ephesians 5:1-2). Just like the multitude that ate and were satisfied that night, I believe that if you choose to no longer be seen as “no more than” and instead make a choice to be taken into the hands of Christ, He will place you in your purpose to pour into the lives of others so that they can be filled and satisfied.
Now some of you reading this may ask, “Well what about those leftovers that weren’t eaten? How were they useful or important to the story?” Well, here’s my take on the leftovers. As you can read in the passage, the broken pieces left on the ground were picked up. I can only assume that the disciples were also included in the group of people responsible for picking up and filling the baskets. Oh, the irony. The very men who saw feeding the five thousand as an impossible task with just five loaves of bread and two fish, had to pick up all the leftovers and lay witness to the abundance in God’s providing hands. I wonder in the back of Jesus’ mind could He have thought, “Here you go…take a moment to look at these baskets of leftovers. Notice there are twelve? One for each of you. You were freaking out about not having enough and now we have more than enough.” Christ used the leftovers as a means of imparting a powerful lesson to the disciples. They needed to hand over what little they had in their possession to the Lord so that He could do the impossible. Proving that even something broken and leftover can be picked up to fulfill a purpose.
Please take a moment to say this prayer:
Heavenly Father, I pray that right now Your presence would be made known to me. I ask you Lord to reveal to me the depths of Your love. May you turn something that may seem like “no more than” into something that is “MORE THAN ENOUGH”. Stretch me beyond my immediate capacity in order to perform a miracle in my life. If I have ever felt like a leftover use me Lord to fulfill a greater purpose. Pick me up Lord, take me into Your hands and encourage my walk with You. Guide me Lord in how to use what I have in my possession, whether it be the gifts or talents You have given me and allow me to hand it over to You so that You can bless it and multiply it for Your glory. In Jesus name. Amen