One of the things I absolutely loved about church when I was a kid, was Sunday School! I loved all the yummy snacks our teachers would bring and how they would make Bible stories come to life! One of my favorite stories growing up was how Jesus fed the 5,000 and how He used a child to do this incredible miracle.
Now that I am an adult, this story continues to hold so much meaning to me and my life, but now on a deeper level.
You can find this story in the books of Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6: 32-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John. For me, the most impactful version is John 6: 1-13.
So Jesus had taken his disciples to withdraw to a desolate place and the crowds heard about it so they followed them there because they had heard and seen the signs and wonders He had been doing. We can read in all of these different accounts how Jesus had compassion on this crowd, welcomed them, and even healed those who needed healing.
The day had gotten long and they realized that it was getting close to feeding time...out of 5,000 men (we do not know how many women and children were there), you know they had to hear some rumbling tummies right???
So Jesus asks the disciples in verse 5, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?"
I am thinking the disciples are looking at Jesus like He is crazy to think they can feed these 5,000 PLUS people, in a desolate place! I won't lie....I would! Even after all these miracles He had done, I would look at Him like "how are you going to do this one?!"
This is what I love about Jesus...nothing surprises Him. He knew exactly what He was going to do.
He knew they were in a desolate place. You know what? He knows what place you are in too and He knows exactly what you need.
My favorite part is coming up...!
Andrew, Simon Peter's brother tells Jesus that he has found this little boy, a child, with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish!
Can you imagine this conversation between Andrew and this little boy???
Andrew: "Hey...um...could we borrow your lunch to feed all these people?"
Little boy: "Which ones of these people??? All of them???? With my food to use for my sandwich?? How will you do that??? Why do you have to take my lunch??? What will I eat??? Are you crazy??? I don't know if I am supposed to be talking to strangers, much less give them my food???"
Andrew: "Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know, I know this sounds crazy, but Jesus needs it."
Little boy: "Ok, here you go."
I don't know if that 's how it went down, but that's how I envision it, ha!
Anyways, Andrew says to Jesus "what are they (fish and bread) for so many?"
Jesus tells them to have the people sit down and He takes the food in His hands, He gives thanks over it, then He breaks it and begins to pass it out...it goes on to say that they had as MUCH AS THEY WANTED!!!
Y'all....over 5,000 people there, and he takes a little boys lunch and ALL of these people had as much as they wanted!!! Not only that, Jesus tells the disciples to gather up the leftover fragments so that NOTHING is LOST...NOTHING is WASTED! There was 12 baskets filled with those leftover pieces when all was said and done!
Can you imagine the faces of the disciples???
Can you imagine the face of that little boy???
This little boy gave all he had. In his hands, it was enough to feed himself only. In the hands of Jesus, it was MORE than ENOUGH to feed all those around Him and there was leftovers!
Wow.....this scripture speaks so much to me, but I want to share some of the main things!
What is inside of you is more powerful in the hands of Jesus versus being in your hands...your control. When we surrender, all that we have, gifts, talents, mind,body, and soul to Him, He will take it and use it to do things beyond our understanding. He will take it and use it to reach others for Him.
NOTHING is WASTED! Jesus is not like my kids where they want to throw the crust away or not use the burnt pieces.
No...He uses all of it! Every part of our life, if it is crusty, burnt, broken, messy, soggy, crushed...He will use it. He will redeem it. He will restore it. He will use it for good.
God uses desolate places and seasons in our lives. If you are in one of those dry places right now or in a bottomless pit, God will use it. Not only will He use it, He is there. Notice Jesus went to this desolate place. Friend, He is in your desolate place with you. He was with me in mine and He helped me out one step of faith and restoration at a time.
This is a big one for me. He doesn't care how old you are...if He has given you something, He wants to use you to do it. You may be a kid, a teenager, a thirty-something, a grand-parent...age does not limit God on the works He wants to do through you. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are His workmanship and that He created good works for us to do...for each of us to walk-in.
What if that little boy would have said no? What if he would have listened to fear and doubt? What if he would have kept his lunch?
What has He given you in your lunch? What talent? What gift? What story? What testimony?
Whatever it is...give Him your lunch. Let Him take it in His hands, break it, pray over it, and then send it out to those around you and impact their lives for His glory.