The feeding of the five thousand is such a familiar story to me, it seems like I’ve always known it.
Jesus sees a huge crowd of people coming to look for Him and asks Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” When Philip only answers that they don’t have enough money to purchase food for everyone, Andrew points out a young boy with five barley loaves and two fish. “But what good is that with this huge crowd?” Andrew asks.
But what good is that??
What good is that?
This is something I repeatedly say to God.
“I offer you this, God. My life, my heart, my all.”
And then I turn around and faithlessly say, “But what good is that, with 7 billion people on this planet?” It’s nothing, not good for anything. You’ll never do anything important or valuable with that, I tell Him.
But Jesus is never in a quandary about how to use His created resources. When He spoke to Philip, “He already knew what He was going to do.” He already knew He was going to provide for the people. He already knew He was going to use a small sack lunch to feed the hungry crowd. He already knew He was going to perform a miracle and blow their minds yet again.
He already knew.
He knew He didn’t need much from the boy, only a little bit. He knew only a meager offering was required, because God Himself would multiply it.
And after He multiplies it, and everyone has eaten as much as they wanted, Jesus instructs them to “gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.”
So nothing is wasted.
First He takes next-to-nothing from one of His followers. Then He multiplies it, filling empty bellies. And then — oh then — He scoops up the leftover bits of His miracle-working, and He wastes none of it. Not a single scrap.
So when I mourn over my offering to God, grieving that it’s not enough, perhaps I should dry my eyes. Perhaps I should remember instead.
Remember that He is the One who gave me my loaves and fishes in the first place.
Remember that when I offer my daily bread back to Him, He will use it as He sees fit.
Remember that He is the One who will multiply my small sacrifices for His own glory.
Remember that He is the One who uses even the leftovers of His miracles.
Remember that He is the One who will never waste my worship.
So when I tell Him still one more time, “What good is that, God,” perhaps I would be better served simply to still my mouth, to quiet my questions, and to wait. To wait, and keep watch for Him to use even the crumbs of my life for Himself.
Which is all I really want anyway.
adapted from here
- For the times when you ask, “What good is that?” - February 22, 2017
- “Fernweh” and “Heimweh” — words for the one who’s far from home - January 20, 2017
- If your year has been a flop - December 28, 2016
- I’m Not Very Good at Gratitude - November 22, 2016
- How Buddhism Taught Me to Love My Neighbors Better - October 28, 2016