Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

Five Small Loaves and Two Little Fish

Some days when I sit down to write, I can’t write quickly enough to keep up with each and every thought that is coming out of my head. Other days, l can’t seem to have a coherent thought, let alone inspire, encourage, or admonish someone else (or myself) with what I write. I’m only recently a writer, and I’m not really sure what to expect. I’m totally winging it, and most days I don’t know if I have anything else to say, well, that anyone would want or need to hear, at least.

This doesn’t include the many moments of doubt, the feelings of inadequacy, or the concern that what I write will be ineffective or useless. These feelings come at me almost daily and I have to purposely wipe them away, and think on something else. Why even bother? Because, I feel this is what God is calling me to do at this time. I am compelled to write and it also happens to bring me joy, satisfaction, and give clarity to my own thoughts.

I don’t think that anything I have to say is in any way profound, but I do think people don’t often stop to consider these kinds of things. I think people don’t read enough, they don’t ask enough questions, and they don’t take time to ponder any of these life altering things that make up the Word of God (the Bible).

I was recently listening to the radio and someone made reference to 5 small loaves and 2 little fish, and how Jesus was able to take that little bit and make it something that could feed thousands and thousands of people. In John 6:1-15, you can read about Jesus feeding the 5,000.

The synopsis is a large crowd had followed Jesus because of the many miracles he was doing. The Bible says 5,000 men, besides women and children, so there were many more than 5,000. He looked out over the number of them and asked one of his disciples, Phillip, where he could get the food to feed all of the people. Jesus asked this, already knowing the answer. Then Andrew mentions that there is a boy with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, knowing that amount was the equivalent of nothing with so many people to feed. Jesus has everyone sit down, he then gives thanks, and they start distributing the bread and fish. As much as people wanted. There was no lack. After everyone had their fill, they gathered up 12 baskets of leftovers from the 5 loaves and 2 fish.

In this short story you will notice that the boy is only mentioned one time, briefly. It’s not about him at all. It’s about Jesus and what he did and what he does. In the same manner, I know it’s not about me, but I am glad to be a vessel that he uses. I know I don’t have a lot to offer, but God takes the little I have and makes it something greater. Much greater. To a point that there is excess, never lack.

Why does he do this? Why does he take this little bit I have and make it into something greater than anything it could ever be on my own? Because he said he would. And he is faithful. (1 John 1:9)

Faithful: full of faith; steadfast in affection or allegiance: loyal; firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty : conscientious; given with strong assurance :  binding <a faithful promise>; true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original.

Because I belong to him, he is faithful to his Word that:

  • He who began a good work in me is faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
  • If we abide in him we will bear good fruit, apart from him we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
  • He helps us in our weakness, interceding for us through his Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:26)
  • He chooses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise, and the weak things to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:26-27)
  • Jesus will deliver us from this body of death – our flesh that wars against our mind. (Romans 7:23-25)

He is faithful to me, personally, changing me little by little, through a process called sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11). He is faithful to me in using me as an instrument for his work to accomplish all that he wants to accomplish in me, and through me. Because he has been faithful to me, I can in turn be faithful to him, through Christ Jesus, and all that he’s given me, even the little bit that it is.

When I have the action and attitude of being faithful, consistently, this is faithfulness. Faithfulness is important because it keeps my focus the same, regardless of my feelings. I am not swayed and I am able to accomplish all that God has called me to. I am able to be consistent, without wavering, in my faith.

In a culture of instant gratification, where drive-thru’s, minute meals, minute games, snippets, tweets, and news flashes are regular parts of our every day lives, God calls us to be consistent, stable, unwavering, and steadfast (1 Corinthians 15:58). He calls us to faithfulness (Galatians 5:22-23). He calls us to keep our eyes on what is above and not on what is below (Colossians 3:2). When the world is spinning out of control, we look to him. We keep our eyes set on him. We set our face like flint (Isaiah 50:7). We forge ahead or we stand firm (Philippians 3:14, 1 Corinthians 6:13). The righteous live by faith, we will not shrink back (Hebrews 10:39).

My boys think I am weird, and they say it often. What they mean by that is: I do not do things the way the majority of people (“the norm”) do them. I have no problem with being “weird”. Although being “weird” is not a fruit of the Spirit, faithfulness is. Faithfulness is not the social norm, but we’re called to do it anyway. The Bible says we are strangers in this place. It’s not our final home. Culture is not the measure of our conduct, God’s Word is. So, I say to you: If being “weird” or strange is what it takes to follow the Bible, then I suggest you get comfortable doing it.

“Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:11-12

In faithfulness, God takes my 5 weird, AIP compliant loaves, and my two mercury free, wild caught fish and he uses it. In faithfulness, through Jesus, I offer to him all that I have, my life, my written words, and he takes and uses it. All of it. For his glory and my good.

Amen!

 

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