It’s been a crazy week.
As I take a few moments out of my hushed morning to lean a bit closer to the Father’s heart, He whispers your names to mine. This comes as no surprise to me, for I have held each of you there in special ways over the past weeks, months, and even years. From time to time some of you have allowed me to visit the inner chambers of your lives and see the real you, along with the not-so-fun challenges you face. This is no lightweight stuff, either. The span reaches from betrayal to divorce, cancer to death, abuse and addictions, disappointments, confusion, doubt, and a myriad of just life stuff that we are not shielded from as believers. And so, as our weekend approaches, I just wanted to share with you what the Spirit has seeded into my heart over the past 24 hours.
The setting is by a countryside. They came to hear Him teach and were so mesmerized by His words that they wound up staying. After some time, they got hungry. That, I can relate to! Just about every Sunday morning, somewhere between point 3 and the benediction. Anyway, we know that there were five thousand men there, plus women and children, so Bible scholars believe there were most likely over 15,000 people hanging out that day. (Ever wonder why the women and children weren’t counted at first? Hmmm.) You know the story; the disciples were sent to see what they had to work with, and up shows a little boy who had 5 barley loaves and 2 tiny fish.
Miracles always begin with the recognition of what you have.
It’s interesting that the women and children were not included in the initial count, and yet the one who wasn’t counted was the one who held the miracle. I am humbled and even amazed at how God uses people that other people don’t count. He’s good like that! He also told the disciples to organize the crowd into groups of 50. Over 15,000 people into small groups of 50? I imagine that probably took some time. Here we learn that often the best miracles in our lives are on pause while the backdrop is being prepared. It’s because we have to be in the right position to receive it. When that was done, the Word tells us what He did with the fish and bread.
He took it.
He blessed it.
He broke it.
He gave it.
5 loaves and 2 fish.
And as He broke it, they begin to lose count. The miniature meal grew and grew and grew…and grew some more. Enough to feed over 15,000 people that day.
A miracle? Absolutely. A blessing? Most definitely. But the blessing wasn’t in their bellies; the blessing was in the breaking. It is the breaking of life that produces the blessings of life. What have you gone through that has broken you? Take heart; He is keeping an accurate count of every piece of your crumbled mess. You may think He is killing you, but He is blessing you. People will leave you, alienate you, forsake you, curse you, cheat on you…it’s all just a precursor to the blessing.
My life is living proof.
That day He blessed something that was clearly not enough – before He multiplied it. As I think about you today, I wonder where you are and what you hold in your hand that is not enough. It may not be the situation you wanted to find yourself in. It may not be the marriage of white lace and promises you always dreamed of. It may not be the picture of health you thought would frame you at this stage and age of life. It may not be the ministry you once felt called to. Your kids may be driving you bat crap crazy and hell bent on breaking your heart. So what do we do with that? I think we lift it up and offer it to Him anyway. I don’t think we will ever get the multiplication if we are not willing to be broken.
Nobody starved that day. They ate, they were filled, and there were leftovers. Isn’t that just like our Father? Leftovers! He could have been precise, but He chose not to be. This time, He chose for there to be overflow. He chose to show them that He is the God of more than enough.
I pray that you have a day filled with the overflow of God’s blessings. With leftovers. You are beautiful, you are counted, you are loved.