When All You Have Is Five Loaves and Two Fish (The Value of Little Bits)

“Levi!  Levi!”

At the sound of the frantic shout that included his name, Levi looked up from the small patch of dirt where he had been pulling out a few weeds.  In the distance, he could see a small figure with brown hair rapidly approaching his house.

“Levi!  Levi!”

Shaking the last of the dirt from the mustard weed he had just uprooted, Levi tossed the plant onto the pile of wilting weeds at the edge of the garden, and hurried to the rock fence that surrounded his family’s yard.

“Levi!  Levi!

Levi shielded his ears as his friend yelled his name from across the fence.  “You can stop shrieking Mary.  I am right here.”

“I was not shrieking, Levi!  I was just calling your name…really loudly.”

Levi paused as if to consider her words.  “No…I think that last one definitely made it to the level of shriek.  My ears are still ringing.”

“Oh whatever, Levi!  Shriek or no shriek…wait until you hear my news!”

Levi watched Mary.  She was almost prancing in one place, like those fancy horses that the rich land owners on the other side of the city had.  Her news must be big.

“Have you heard, Levi?  Jesus of Nazareth has been spotted in the countryside near our town!”

“What?  Are you sure?”

“Of course I am sure!  Why do you think I ran all the way over here?  You have been wanting to see him for months!”

Levi’s thoughts were churning.  Mary was right.  Stories of all the miracles Jesus had been doing had been circulating through the town.  Ever since he had heard of how Jesus had healed the blind, the mute, the paralyzed, the sick and even brought the daughter of the synagogue leader back to life, Levi had had a yearning to see Jesus.  And now He was here!

“Don’t just stand there like an old goat!  Do you wanna go?”

“Yes!  Just wait a minute!”  Levi sprinted into the house and found his mom to let her know what was happening.  Two minutes later he ran back out of the house carrying a small lunch with five loaves and two fish she had put together for him just in case he was gone all day.

Levi joined Mary at the gate and together they ran out to the countryside to find Jesus.

Levi couldn’t help but wonder if today he would get to see a miracle!

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The feeding of the 5,000 is recorded in all four gospels – Matthew 14:13 – 21, Mark 6:30 – 44, Luke 9:10 – 16 and John 6:1 – 13.

As I reflect on this miracle that happened that day, I have been challenged by the following lessons of faith.

Jesus sees and knows my needs.

Just as Jesus saw the needs of the people that day, He sees our needs.  Just as Jesus was moved with compassion and met the needs of the people that day, He is moved with compassion towards us and He will meet our needs.

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”

If you are in a time of need, don’t be afraid to go to God.  He will supply your needs.  Approach His throne of grace with confidence, knowing that you will receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need.

God will enable me to do what He asks me to do.

When Jesus told the disciples to feed the people, the first thing they did was come up with excuses…they didn’t have enough food to feed the people and they didn’t have enough money to buy the food.  All they saw were the impossibilities instead of looking at what was possible with God.

Luke 18:27 says, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

And this is what the disciples found out that day.  The task that they had been given was impossible with their wisdom and their resources…but once Jesus stepped into the picture what was impossible became possible with His wisdom and His power.

So don’t be overwhelmed if you find that God is asking you to do something that seems impossible.  Instead of coming up with all the excuses of why it won’t work, turn to Him and ask Him to provide what you need to do the work He has given you to do, and then watch how He will provide.

God can take the little bit that I have to offer Him and multiply it many times over! 

Can you imagine the story the young boy had to tell his mom that night when he got home?

“Mom, you will NEVER believe how many people were fed by those five small loaves of bread and two small fish you gave me!  5,000 men plus all the women and children!  And, there were twelve full baskets left over…one for each of the disciples.  No one went away hungry.  Everyone had enough!”

Sometimes it may seem like that you don’t have much…money, strength, wisdom, time, or whatever else…but, don’t feel that you don’t have enough!  Bring it to God.  He will know what to do with it:D  In His hands, a little becomes much.

God deliberately puts us in situations where we don’t have enough resources and where on our own we can’t do what He has asked us to do. 

John 6 records these words, “Jesus asked this only to test him (Philip), for He already had in mind what He was going to do.”  Jesus knew how He was going to feed all the people…

But He didn’t let the disciples know His plan.  Instead He tested them.  He wanted to see how they would respond to an impossible task.

Would they look to Jesus with courage and trust and say, “Well Jesus, on our own we can’t do this.  In fact, this is impossible for us, but with You all things are possible.  If this is what You want us to do would You please give us the wisdom and show us how to do this?  Would You please provide the resources?”

Or would they look at the impossibility and come up with all the reasons why it wouldn’t work and give up?

So many times God brings situations into our lives that are overwhelming…and seemingly impossible.  He does this – not to crush us – but to teach us to look to Him.  He wants us to learn to trust in Him and not in ourselves.  When God puts us in situations where “we can’t” we learn that “He can”.

And something incredible happens when we are taught this lesson and we choose to learn it.  We begin to respond to the difficulties and the impossibilities that we face with a confident trust in God, His presence, His promises and His provisions.

Instead of responding with doubt and fear we can boldly say, “If God is for us, who can be against us?  If God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, free give us all things?”  (Rom. 8:31,32)

God wants to wean us from ourselves and the thinking that says it is by our hand we accomplish the tasks He gives us, for when this happens we tend to give ourselves a pat on the back and say “Look at what I did”, instead of giving thanks to God and giving Him glory for what He has done.

Are you facing a five loaves and two fish kind of day?  If so, remember…

  1. God sees your need. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5).  He is the Father of compassion, and He will supply for your needs.
  2. God will enable you to do what He asks you to do.
  3. God can take the little bit you have to offer and multiply it many times over.
  4. God puts us in situations where “we can’t” so that we will learn that “He can”.

In fact, when we place what we have in the hands of our Sovereign God…

A little bit is enough.

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