Growing up in a family of hard workers, I assumed that if you worked hard and trusted God, that would be enough. For me, as a child, it was enough. There was always something to eat three times a day. In our time of living, you didn’t question what was put before you, you just dug in after the prayer of thanks. There would be cake and homemade ice cream reserved for birthdays and other special occasions. Life was pretty simple. There wasn’t a ton of finances to manage but there was always enough, more than enough.
I remember church gatherings with a few known-to-be-great cooks providing a ton of food while the rest of us brought side dishes and desserts. Food always seemed to be at the center of our social interactions. Even small groups can’t seem to meet without at least chips and dip, right? And there was always more than enough.
Then I went to Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the world. This would be one of numerous trips I would make to this land of giving, beautiful people who I would work alongside in growing churches and schools. On this first trip, I would learn about the culture which included faith, love, work, humility, honor and hospitality.
One Saturday, as a visitor to a mountain-side youth retreat, I wondered how the people would be fed in this remote place. Then, by the stream, where livestock were drinking, I noticed two ladies assigned to cook our meal over an open fire. They spent all morning preparing a delicious meal of rice and beans and some fish.
When the meal was served, I noticed I was given the biggest portion in a huge bowl with an enormous metal spoon as a visiting speaker. It was more than enough for me to eat! Lettuce adored the top of my bowl to reveal a whole small fish placed on top of my rice and beans. I was bit taken aback to notice the fish looking at me for fish was whole, roasted, but whole. This was another gesture of honor to me.
Everyone watched as I ate. Their eyes full of love wanting me to be pleased. I was so humbled by this experience. When I looked around at all the youth and others gathered, I asked if they had enough because I was willing to share my large portion. All they said was, “we have more than enough”. It would have been rude for me not to eat. All of it.
Jesus gives more than enough in this miracle of serving over 5000 people with a few fish and loaves of bread. Jesus is always more than enough.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
THINK ABOUT IT…
Jesus is grieving the loss of John, gets away to a quiet place to pray and crowds begin to gather as soon as they spot him. They come from the town and surrounding villages to hear him speak and to see him heal the sick. Jesus is more than enough.
Jesus’ heart of compassion spurred by grief over John’s demise coupled with His love for the lost is more than enough to lead Him to action that will give glory to God, His Father, and feed hungry people at the same time. Jesus is always more than enough. His love is amazing!
Jesus teaches his disciples an important ministry lesson for their current and future work in the process. “Bring Me what you have” for it will always be more than enough to do what I want you to do. Jesus is amazing!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this powerful lesson. It will be more than enough for me to think about all day long. You are more than enough for me. Your love is amazing, relentless, unchanging, reckless, overwhelming and humbling. Help me to love like you love.
In Jesus Name, Amen