The disciples said to him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?’ Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ (Matthew 15:33-34)
I have been running out lately. Running out of patience, resolve, stamina. I am tired of the pandemic, weary with the unrest in the country, frayed with so much change and upheaval.
If I am speaking to you, and if you have found yourself running out of energy and focus to keep on going, then I hope today’s lesson will speak to you as it does to me.
The multitudes have been following Jesus, and they had become so enthralled with His presence and teaching, that they did not notice that they were running out of food to feed themselves and their families. As Jesus’ heart went out to the exhausted and famished crowds, He asked the disciples, “How many loaves have you?”
What did they have? Seven loaves and a few small fish. In other words, they only had enough to feed their small band.
The question that Jesus asked them, He asks us. How much do we have? Can we provide for ourselves and for those we care for? Have we got enough to carry on?
Jesus asks us this question because He wants us to be honest with Him about our spiritual storehouse. He does not ask us this question for His sake, but for ours. He knows what we have or don’t have, and He wants to know if we know. At this moment, I need to confess that I’m often a poor judge of my own storehouses.
The hope in today’s scripture is that what Jesus did for the multitudes on that day, He can do for us. Just as He took little more than a snack and fed more than 4,000 people, so He can fill the empty, refresh the exhausted, and renew the spent today.
At the end of that day long ago, all the people were satisfied. Jesus had fed their minds, their souls, and their bodies. As we face into this draining, emptying, and trying time, we can trust that Jesus will provide what we need. He will satisfy our needs now, just like He did then.
I know that some of us can be reluctant to give Jesus the scraps of our lives because we are embarrassed; or because we want to pretend we are better off than we are; or because we think that if we only tried harder all would be well. Although I don’t believe that Jesus will ever drain us, I do believe He will let us drain out. He will allow that to happen in order to bring us to Himself. He delights when we finally know that we need His ability to make what little we have into something that will be more than enough for all.
- How is the storehouse of your own soul and heart right now?
- If you are running out and don’t have much to give or to carry on, how do you feel about turning to Jesus for help?
- When has Jesus taken the little you had and made it more than enough?