Meager Multiplied

“Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?’ He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, ‘Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?’  Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.  Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’” John 6:5-14

Multiplication begins with Jesus. Start with a small group, add need, times hundreds more people and skepticism and supernatural power, and wonder abounds. Start with one test question, add doubt and figuring and commiseration, plus measured instruction, and chaos turns to order. Start with five barley loaves and two fish, add thankful hands raised, multiply by many hands distributing, and fullness with leftovers results. Jesus does all things well.

Jesus went about His work with intention and grace, His miraculous signs pointing to the deeper and greater things He came to do for man. We go about so much of our life hungry, and crowded in busyness, and not thinking about soul nourishment. Enter the Savior of the world. He sees us. He knows the longing of our hearts, and He knows- and is able to meet- our every need.

Why do we despair at our meagerness of ability, strength, or understanding when we have Almighty God on our side? Why do we think God is not able to manage our impossibilities? Why do we behave as if He were surprised at our trials? The Lord intentionally and lovingly gives such tests to undo our doubt, reorder our thinking, redirect our possibilities, press us to release what we have to Him, and open our eyes to His marvelous multiplication. (Romans 12:31-32; 1 Peter 4:12-13)

What dearth do we bemoan? Where are we lacking insight, stamina, hours, love for the unlovely, patience, vision, or hope? Would we bring our meager to the Master, and watch Him bless it, make more of it, and provide His plenty?

“O how great thy lovingkindness,
vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvelous thy goodness
lavished all on me!

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
in the joy of what thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
of thy loving heart.” ~Jean Sophia Pigott (1876)

Lord, may I believe and bless You for Your astounding multiplication of my offering.

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