Last night as I was putting the kids to bed I read them the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 (Jn 6:1-13).
My mind wandered as I recited the familiar event.
It had been a long, sad, difficult day. After days and weeks of waiting and wondering my Grandma Bev had passed away that morning. On the one hand there was relief that her pain and suffering were over. On the other, the loss to our family is monumental.
That night I sat there, draped with small bodies, relating the problem Jesus and His disciples were faced with: too many people and not enough food. The familiar story continued with the introduction of the little boy and his picnic lunch.
How often, from Sunday school on, had I heard this miracle preached? Too many times to count. But in the aftermath of a great, personal loss a new perspective hit me: how did the boy feel about being asked to give up what he had?
That food was his and he certainly had no way of knowing Jesus would be able to feed so many with it. The purpose behind the sacrifice was obscured from his view, he could only trust Jesus.
The Holy Spirit whispered to me as I finished the story for the kids.
“You’ve been asked to give up something you would have rather kept. You don’t know for what purpose, but there is more to come.”
I don’t know yet what benefit to myself and others can result from this hole inside me. I do know that I can trust my Father in heaven to see that it is a sacrifice.
The little boy had a need that was going to be met by his sacrificed lunch. He could have kept it and satisfied his own needs, but in giving it away he became part of a bigger story.
Yesterday Jesus asked me to freely give Him my fish and loaves. Now I’m sitting back waiting to see what He does next.
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