April 15, 2019

FIVE THOUSAND.

Photo by Shelby Miller on Unsplash


Every time I teach in kids' church, I find myself learning alongside the preschoolers--which I know is one of the many reasons why I've felt led and called to serve at my church in this area. And this past week, I found myself more of a student of this story than a teacher.

Upon first glance, I thought it was going to be one of those "easy-to-teach" stories since I've read it and known about it since I was a kid--likely the age of the preschoolers I'm teaching. But what I realized, is that there was so much more for me to unpack and relate to than I ever imagined.

Growing up, my focus was always on the miracle of the abundance of food. What was a little boy's meal of two fish and five loaves of bread was miraculously multiplied to feed thousands. I focused solely on how amazing it was that the food multiplied that I lost sight of Jesus' care for the people and trust in God alone to provide. 

Jesus tells his disciples to feed the thousands he had been teaching and healing all day. And when I read through that passage the other night, I was struck at the doubt in their response to Jesus' command. They tell Jesus that it would cost way too much money. And that the two fish and five loaves they did have obviously wasn't going to cut it. 

So what does Jesus do? He lifts up the food, prays and asks God to bless it. And just like that--when His eyes turn to Heaven and He relies solely on God to provide and act--there is not only enough, but there is a surplus of food to feed and fill the hungry crowds.

How often do I respond to God's calling and commands with doubt? Like the disciples in this story or like Moses, I tell God that I'm not good enough. And I so I sit in what I think is contentment but is ultimately distrust and fear. 

I want to respond to challenges--or what I feel seems impossible like feeding the five thousand--with the trust and grace that Jesus had. To respond with faith in God's sovereign hand in my life. To trust that He will provide. And that He won't just give me what I need, but He will give me His love, presence, and grace alongside it--which is more than I need, deserve, and could ever ask for. 


© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall