Sent: May 1, 2002
Subject: It Doesn’t Matter What You Have in Your Basket
Dear Ethan & Emily:
The story about Jesus feeding 5,000 can be found in several places in the New Testament. Matt. 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-15. Not only was this a “newsworthy” item in that day, but it would still be “breaking news” even in today’s era of fast food.
But aside from its interest and fascination as a story are the lessons we can learn and apply to our daily lives. The first lesson that the disciples learned is that God doesn’t see anything as impossible. He will never ask you to do what He cannot accomplish in and through you. In fact, a situation that seems impossible to us is actually an opportunity for God. The disciples saw 5,000 mouths to feed and no food to feed them. Furthermore, they were low on finances and when Jesus told them to feed the crowds, they quickly retorted: “With what?…It would take a small fortune to buy food for all this crowd!” (Mark 6:37-38). They had a financial impossibility.
Jesus then asked them: “How much food do you have?” and after doing some research declared: “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.” (Mark 6:38) Again…another impossibility. This time one of supply.
But what an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His power and compassion for the multitudes of people who had left their homes to come hear Him speak? You know the ending. He blessed the food and then began breaking the food into pieces and it just went on and on…until everyone had eaten all they wanted and there were twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish!
The second lesson the disciples learned…and one we also need to apply today is that God can use anyone or anything for His glory. It doesn’t matter how old you are…or how talented you are…you can be an effective servant for the Lord if you make available to Him whatever you have. In this story, the five loaves of bread and two fish were the items in the lunch basket of a young boy. I’m guessing this boy might have hesitated to give up his food…but then again he might have volunteered it we just don’t know. But, in any case, he gave what he had…and what he had was more than enough in Jesus’ hands to get the job done!
On my desk is a small plaque that has meant so much to me over the years. It sits under my computer monitor, so I view it constantly as a reminder: “God never asks about your ability. Only your availability.” Oh, how true!
Next time you are faced with a challenge, don’t ever let your lack of anything…whether money, ability, or other resources…blind you to God’s power. In fact, as the leftovers form the feeding of the 5,000 demonstrate: God is not only able to multiply what little we can offer Him…but can, in fact, turn it into something beyond our wildest imagination.
So…never forget it doesn’t matter what you have in your basket…it’s just that you offer up to God what you have!
Have a miracle day,
All my love,