DAY 18: Leftovers . . . and More

“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?’ . . . Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’ . . . Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, He said to his disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:5,8 ,11-13)

Twelve baskets of leftovers. One basket for every disciple there who said it couldn’t be done.

All left over from the original five loaves of bread and two fish. A miracle that takes place because Jesus decided to give thanks for what He had at His disposal and trust His Father would do the rest.

Giving thanks is far more than appreciating whatever gift the Giver has provided: it’s crediting God with the outcome that is about to be experienced. It’s an expression of trust that since God gave, God will accomplish divine things through that gift, and we will be the recipients.

Often times we, like Philip, react to the need and opportunities around us in a way that limits our expectations of what God can do. We trust statistics, probabilities, the laws of nature, past experience, and “natural” human responses more than we trust the One who declared of Himself, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”  (Genesis 18:14 )

Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him. They came wanting to receive. But they never expected to receive as much as they did. They received enough that was sufficient to meet their needs. But then they received more, immeasurably more, than they needed. 

How about what you expect the Lord to provide for your ministry, for your capital campaign efforts? It’s not just about the dollars collected (the five loaves of bread and two fish). But it is also about all the extras (the twelve baskets) that happen as a result of putting all of this in the Lord’s hands.