Have you ever been put in a spot where if somebody doesn’t show up and provide you’re completely unable to provide for yourself? You aren’t alone, most of us have been there.
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?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go?”
In John 6, we read of the miracle feeding of more than 5,000. I find it both humorous and strangely familiar. While we gain great perspective these 2000 years later, how many of us still fail to trust that God can and will multiply and provide?
Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and then distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.
With but a simple act of gratitude, and a reminder that all we have comes first from God, Jesus gave to each their fill.
I love this image of God’s provision in our lives today. Though Jesus isn’t with us in the flesh, his Spirit is still at work amongst us. He still provides, and reminds us how we ought to live: with the knowledge that God can, will and already has provided.
As if that wasn’t enough, the end of this story is what is most impressed in my mind.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets.
Twelve baskets of leftovers collected by the twelve disciples. While that could be coincidence, it’s possible that Jesus intended just that. I imagine as the crowds made their way home, Jesus and his disciples are cleaning up the leftovers, a basket full for each disciple. It’s as if Jesus is asking them, “Do you have enough now? Do you still doubt I can provide? There was enough for them and still more than enough for you.
God is fully capable of providing all that we need. Even when we don’t trust he can, I’ve seen him come through time and again. Whether or not you attribute what you possess to him, it’s from him.
May you trust that God can provide when times look bleak. After all, you have nothing apart from him today, so all else you receive is simply an over abundance of what he’s already given.
And lastly, don’t forget to do as Jesus did, and give thanks to God for what he has provided.
- How have you seen God provide for you?