Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Matthew 14:16-19 NIV
“I’m a pastor in northern Wisconsin and just read your article and found it to be refreshing and inspiring. Next week, I am preaching a sermon on getting unstuck spiritually — and that is how I stumbled across your writing.”
This is an email from a stranger who had just read an article of mine. Nothing makes my heart more joyful than hearing how my words (whether written or spoken) have been used by God to impact others. But what if I hadn’t been obedient to write it? What if I had allowed fear or pride to keep me from putting it out there? What if I believed my words were not good enough to be read?
In this story from Matthew, a large crowd gathers in the hope that Jesus will heal their diseases. Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowds with what they have on hand. The disciples complain there isn’t enough. Jesus miraculously provides for everyone, multiplying the few loaves and fishes they have.
But there is a sentence that is often overlooked: “Bring them here to me.” When we bring Jesus what little we have, He uses it for His glory.
We may think, as the disciples did, that we don’t have much to offer. When we compare ourselves to others, we find ourselves lacking. Why would God want what I can give? Surely He can find someone better. But God wants us to be willing to give what we have, even if it seems insignificant in our eyes.
This story of the feeding of 5,000 leads us to three powerful truths:
If we don’t put our words out there, we’ll never know how God will choose to use them. I’m convinced that part of the joy we will receive in heaven will be from people that come up to us who say things like, “Thanks for writing that article on sexual harassment. Because of it I was inspired to speak up against the harassment I was experiencing at work.” Or “Thanks for that blog post on the dangers of giving your kids cell phones at a young age. It kept me from bowing to the pressure of giving my child a cell phone like the rest of his friends. He now enjoys more social activities because of that.”
We need to be thankful for the gifts He gives us. In John 5:19 Jesus says, “The son can do nothing himself, he can do only what He sees His father doing…” (NIV) Jesus knew that only with His Father could He can multiply those loaves and fishes. He could not do anything apart from his Father. Neither can we. When we keep this perspective and enlist our Heavenly Father for help, He will multiply what we have to give in ways we may never know or see on earth.
Even though God can do what needs to be done Himself, He enlists our help. Jesus could have passed out the newly multiplied bounty, but instead he chose to ask the disciples to do it for him. It is a way He blesses His children. When we are willing to do what God is calling us to do, He is faithful to put that message into the ears and hearts of those who need it.
In our limited perspectives, we may worry we have little to contribute to the Kingdom. But God wants our obedience, for us to willing give our resources, time, and energy to the Him. And when we bring what little we have to him, He multiplies it in ways we could never imagine.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20 NASB
About the author: Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, national speaker, pastor’s wife and mother. A member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, she loves to help people encounter God and engage with the world around them. When not writing, you can find her enjoying a Starbucks latte and collecting vintage records. For more info, please visit her website at www.michellelazurek.com
Free Book Contest! Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Michelle’s book, Righteous and Lost: Finding Hope for the Pharisee Within, please comment below. By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win! If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.
Join the conversation: 1 Corinthians 12: 7 tells us “to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (NASB) What has God give you that He wants to use in the life of others?