Jack O’Dell tells a story of a young boy who claimed that it was not all that difficult to feed 5,000 people. According to the boy, “All you need are five loaves, two fishes, and Jesus.”
This is a simple truth that describes what happened one day. After hearing the tragic news about John the Baptist being killed by King Herod, Jesus intended to retreat to take some time away from the crowds to pray and then to be with His disciples.
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:13-21 (ESV)
It is interesting that the twelve apostles picked up twelve baskets full of leftovers. I wonder how much more abundance was left unharvested.
The prophet Elijah also experienced the miracle of multiplication when a single flour jar allowed him, a widow, and her son to continue living off of it for years, supplying enough bread each day to keep them all alive through a terrible drought. God does the same for us as we ask Him to “give us this day our daily bread”.
In more recent times, God has also provided miraculous provision in answer to prayer, such as with George Mueller, who, though poor himself, raised thousands of children over the years in an 1800’s orphanage. Quoting about one incident from georgemueller.com:
“The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat,” the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.” Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.”
The Lord loves people, flaws and all, especially children. He wants to bless each one of us and to receive our love and recognition of Him and His goodness in return. When Jesus fed the 5,000, everybody ate, no one was left out, and there was plenty left over for everyone to take what they could with them. Jesus does not do anything half way. We can trust Him, one day at a time.
Father God, thank You so much for our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, and help us to forgive those imperfect people who sin against us. Flaws and all. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.