As a long time Christ follower, I’ve read the passage of Scripture found in Matthew 14 about Jesus feeding the five thousand dozens of times. I’ve heard messages preached on it and have heard it used time and time again when referencing the provision of God and the miracles of Jesus. And yesterday morning I found myself reading it yet again, but this time I saw something in this account from the gospels that reached right down into my heart and truly spoke to me.
Jesus and his disciples are ministering to a very large crowd of people, and they have been all day. As it gets later, the disciples realize that everyone is getting hungry. They urge Jesus to send the crowds away so that they can eat, but Jesus has a different idea. “That isn’t necessary – you feed them,” Jesus says. To which the disciples reply, “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” The disciples obviously looked out at the massive crowd and then down at what they had in their hands and were very aware that something didn’t add up. What Jesus was asking of them just wasn’t possible. How on earth could they be expected to feed a crowd of thousands with such a small amount of food?
As I was reading, it hit me that so often in my life I respond to Jesus in this very same way. I will see needs all around me that are begging to be met – people who are hurting, marriages that are falling apart, those who are struggling to make ends meet, women who desperately need to know God’s purpose for their lives, children who need someone to love and care for them, … I could go on and on. I will come to Jesus, heartbroken about the needs all around me, begging Him to do something about it. And so many times in the middle of these prayers I can feel Jesus saying to me, “Okay, Kelly. You walk with them through the pain. You sacrificially give to help provide for their needs. You lead them toward discovering their purpose. YOU feed them.” And all too often I look down at my hands, and somewhat in disbelief I say, “But Jesus, … I only have five loaves and two fish. I’m not qualified enough. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have enough money. I don’t have the right answers. I’M NOT ENOUGH.”
Just like the disciples, I am forgetting something very important in that moment – Jesus is really good at multiplication. The Bible says that Jesus took that meal of five loaves and two fish that at first glance was only enough to feed one person, and He fed thousands of people with it. And not only did he feed them, but after each person ate as much as they wanted there were still twelve baskets of leftovers! Jesus takes our “not enough” and turns it into MORE THAN ENOUGH.
When He is calling me to do something and I look down at what I have in my hands, of course it’s not enough because it was never about what I had in my hands in the first place. It always has been and always will be about His ability, His resources, His power and His plan. I need to take whatever is in my hand and bring it to the One who will bless it, break it into pieces, multiply it and use it feed thousands. In and of myself I will never have enough, be enough or do enough. And that’s okay because Jesus, the great multiplier, will ALWAYS be enough.