What to do when it doesn’t look like you have enough to offer?
In today’s episode, we’re going to look at the feeding of the five thousand as a reminder of just what God can do with even a little bit.
Looking at John 6:1-14, we see the account of this story.
Jesus and the disciples find themselves with a large following because of all of the signs Jesus has been showing people.
Seeing all the people, Jesus asks Philip where they can get bread to feed everyone. (You have to love how Jesus knew exactly what He was going to do, but He made a point to ask the disciples to notice the magnitude of the need.)
They say they don’t have anything except for 5 loaves and 2 fish.
Jesus thanked God for the food and then distributed them to all who were seated and they had their fill.
Then, Jesus has the disciples collect the leftovers and they filled up 12 baskets.
You may have heard this story a lot. I know I have, but this time when I was reading it, something stood out to me a little differently.
(Side note: it’s really helpful to read the Bible constantly asking yourself questions and why things happen exactly the way they do.)
I asked myself “Why did Jesus tell them to collect the extra baskets?” He says so it won’t’ be wasted but I also think it has another purpose.
They happened to get 12 baskets of leftovers as well.
One for each disciple. So that tells me that there’s something deeper here than Jesus showing his ability to multiply food to feed people.
Like I always do when I don’t understand a piece of scripture, I started mulling it over and praying for the Holy Spirit to let me see the meaning behind this.
After a while, I felt the Holy Spirit say that it was to show that if you feed others, you will also be fed. The overflow that comes from it will create abundance for you. But the abundance wasn’t just from the bread alone. Jesus first said thanks to God for providing even the little bit they had to begin with.
You may not have a lot to offer but thanking God for what you have learned or what you do know and then offering even that little bit can not only fill others up but can also provide for you as well.
This can be in literal food, it could be with money or it could be with teaching something you know.
In the Bible, bread is often a symbol of the Word of God.
God works through people. Think of how often someone spoke a word of encouragement over you and you felt that it came at just the right time. That could’ve been the Holy Spirit working through that person to simply encourage you.
In the same way, if God has put a message on your heart to share, you don’t know the impact of that word. So when you share with others what God has pressed upon you to share, even if it didn’t feel like a lot, you have no idea the impact that could make.
And if we take it to a literal business sense, I think of how so often people are afraid to sell anything because they think it’s not good enough…that they aren’t expert enough.
But you have bread when someone else has nothing..and they’re hungry.
You know more than they do about something and they are looking for someone…anyone that will help them even a little bit.
And in doing that, not only are you building them up and giving them what they need, but you’re getting what you need as well.
They wanted to learn something or they needed help with something and you needed provision and income into your business. Both of you received your “fill”.
So I hope this encourages you to first thank God for what He has already given you, even if it doesnt’ seem like enough. Every gift is from Him and it’s good (James 1:7).
Then if you are feeling led to share that gift with others, I hope you don’t find yourself saying that it’s not enough or you’re not expert enough.
God loves to do a lot with a little and He loves to bring abundant blessings to those that trust Him, are good stewards of the little He’s given and are willing to share it out in love with others.
Keep renewing your mind as you pursue your calling.