Thursday, October 9, 2014

Giving up the Fish

This morning I read the story of Jesus feeding the 5000.  It's one I've read many times, but something about it struck me differently today.  I imagined the scene: Jesus had been teaching the crowds in a rather remote location for most of the day.  It's getting late and everyone is hungry.  There were probably kids running around all over the place pulling on their moms' clothes asking for their dinner.  The disciples told Jesus to send the crowds away so they could go get food for themselves.  Who knows, they might have been a bit tired of all these people milling around and were looking forward to some peace and quiet with Jesus.  But Jesus comes back with this, "They do not need to go away.  You give them something to eat."  Talk about a tall order!  They told him the only food they had was 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  Not enough for thousands of people to chow down on for sure.  Jesus then says, "Bring them here to me."  He has all the people sit down in the grass, he gave thanks to God, and gave the food back to the disciples to pass out to everyone.  Miraculously, there was plenty for everyone, and even 12 baskets of leftovers. (Patrick would have loved that!)  Once again, Jesus provided what the disciples could not.

This story illustrates more than just how Jesus denies the whole "no such thing as a free lunch" thing. Sure, we could take away from this passage that God will provide for us, but I'm pretty sure there's a deeper meaning here.  When the disciples brought their meager bit of food to Jesus they had to trust that he was going to do something incredible with it.  Doesn't that apply to our very lives as well?  I might not have much talent, wisdom, or skill, but when I give what I do have to Jesus, he's able to do remarkable things with it.

Perhaps the hardest part in this is the handover.  It's hard for me to want to totally submit myself to Jesus.  What if he wants to do something I don't like?  What if he asks me to do hard things?  That's a possibility, and it's certainly happened to me before so I'm sure it will happen again.  But here's where we learn to trust God.  We can trust that even when he asks us to do hard or even impossible things, he will ultimately use it for his glory.  And what's cool is that it's not really up to us to do the incredible things anyway.  All we have to do is be willing to let Jesus use our lives.  The rest is up to him.

So that's my prayer for today, that I could keep learning how to give up my bread and fish to Jesus and trust that he will do miraculous things with my life.  (Not a bad way to start the day really...;) )

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