I don't always make time to be alone with the Lord in prayer and in the reading of His Word (the Bible). Yesterday, I did. I knew it was important, and I desired to spend that time with Him. I began reading and came to the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000. If you haven't heard of it, it's pretty amazing. See, there was a huge crowd of people who had gathered. Jesus was teaching them. They were listening...learning...taking it all in. The disciples were there and suggested that they go ahead and wind things down so everyone can have time to walk to the nearest towns with food since they were meeting in a place where nothing was available. Jesus doesn't want to send the people away yet. He had more to teach them, but the disciples could see the facts right in front of them...2 fish + 5 loaves= not enough food for over 5,000 people.
However, Jesus knew that with God in the mix, math doesn't work out to the same answer (tell that to your algebra teacher). With God, the answer is never what you expect or what you think is possible or sometimes even not what seems fair.
Sometimes, it seems there's just not enough money coming in to keep the lights on, not enough time in the day to escape the overwhelming responsibility of raising little ones, not enough tears to express the sadness over a deep betrayal or not enough friends to fill the loneliness in our hearts.
There are times when God shows us that with Him, what seems like not enough becomes plenty. Other times, He shows us that what we thought we needed was actually just a want that we must live without...at least for now. In both ways, God is faithful and loving.
There are some stories (like this one of the loaf, fish, and hungry people) that you assume you already understand completely. How could you learn a new lesson from words you've been taught again and again...maybe even from the time you were a small child? Yet, God continues to teach and grow us when we are open to it.
Here's what stood out to me this time around...
18 Jesus said, “Bring the bread and the fish to me.” 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking to heaven, he thanked God for the food. Jesus divided the bread and gave it to his followers, who gave it to the people.
He thanked God for the food. Jesus showed us what it means to be continually thankful. It means something to me that these verses don't say, "He took the loaves and fish and looking to heaven pleaded for them to multiply miraculously." Reading this reminds me to be thankful even when what I've been given doesn't seem like enough at the moment. I can and should be thankful, regardless of the outcome of a situation or how my life lines up with what I expected life to be. I should always be thankful for the One who always provides enough- even simply because He offers Himself, and He is enough.
A Note About Food Allergies...
God is enough even when we don't have all the answers about what caused our food allergies, when we might ever be cured, or how to make connections with others despite the difficulties we face. When I look at our situation, when I think about how unfair it seems that we must go on this journey, I am reminded....be thankful even when it seems you don't have enough. It is when I feel most unable to change a situation that I truly learn what it means to rely on God and trust Him fully. I'm thankful to God for our lives and am no longer bitter about how food allergies have forced change in our family. There will still be moments when trusting will be difficult, but I am thanking the Lord today for the loaves and fish....even if they weren't top 8 free.