Wow! I’ve been resting on Matthew 14:16 the last few days. For days I couldn’t seem to get past this single verse: “But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. YOU give them something to eat.” (emphasis mine)
What was I supposed to glean from that verse that would be applicable to my life now. My “nest” has been ruffled up. My comfort zone is not “comfortable” right now. What do I have to offer…to GIVE…Feeling off-center and a bit like I was sinking.
What Do I Have to Offer?
Meditating on this single verse has been a lifeline…pointing me to clarity of purpose once again.
There were leftovers
This verse is part of the story of the 5 loaves, 2 fish. AND of the 12 baskets full left over. (After feeding 5,000 + people!)
The disciples were frustrated with all the people that would need something to eat. Unfortunately, there was no fast food restaurant nearby. They were concerned. So, they went to Jesus to tell Him the problem (because maybe they thought He didn’t realize the problem. 🙂 All they had was a little boy’s lunch. They had their own ideas what needed to be done, but Jesus had a different plan. That is where Matthew 14:16 comes into the picture.)
Blessing and breaking
Jesus had taken the 5 loaves and 2 fish that the disciples had brought him. He then looked up to Heaven, blessed the food and broke it into pieces and gave all of it to the disciples to distribute to the MULTITUDES. (Do you ever wonder what they were thinking right then?? I do! Kinda funny to think about!) So, back to our story…They gave Him what they had. He multiplied it, but THEY had to “give them something to eat.” THEY had to distribute what God had multiplied. (Reminds me of a poem by Annie Johnson Flint “Hands and Feet for Jesus”.)
They ate what had been multiplied and were FILLED. No more hunger. Filled. Filled with what was first given to Jesus and blessed by Him. FILLED…with much more left over than they even started with. Twelve baskets full LEFT OVER!!! (Here’s where I have been stopping to talk to Jesus a minute. Will you join me?)
Thank You, Lord, for the LITTLE I have to offer. Thank You, that when I give it up to You for Your purposes, You will multiple it to meet the need…and sometimes with some left over. You multiple my LITTLE for others’ sake! Not to hoard, but to give out…to the multitude!
Resting and chewing
I seriously have been resting on this story for days! There is so much there to “chew on”. (Sorry…I couldn’t help myself there!)
After the Offering
Then, after all were fed, Jesus sent them all away—even the disciples—and then He went away—alone—to pray.
He prayed MANY hours. It is stunning that He went away alone. He didn’t “work” the crowd. He didn’t seek glory, attention, or honor or praise for all He had done. Rather, He went to talk with His Father…to spend time alone with His Father. He had merely been doing what He was created to do.
They still didn’t “get it”. Nor does Peter, the Otter personality.
Even after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the disciples still didn’t “get it”…which they prove by their reactions while in the boat, without Jesus, experiencing a storm with strong wind. Note they all were very fearful. Even Peter. Let’s call this the “Peter walking on the water” story.
Peter was different than the others. You know Peter. He often spoke whatever came to his mind, and often acted impulsively. Peter was an Otter personality type (Leading From Your Strengths). He liked to be right in the middle of the action. The party doesn’t start until the Otter arrives! They are FUN!
Without thinking it through, Peter couldn’t wait for Jesus to come into the boat with them. He wouldn’t wait! So, he stepped out of the boat. And, he was actually safe UNTIL he took his eyes off Jesus and onto the stormy seas.
Typically, Otters love adventure, new things, and get excited about every new opportunity. They don’t have to think about it. OF COURSE NOT! After all, what could go wrong, right? 😉
They want what they want NOW. They don’t like to wait. It is not surprising Peter did not evaluate the options before flinging himself into the middle of the action. So he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. BUT when he took his eyes off Jesus and onto the turbulent water, he began to sink! And then he cried out for help. Then he reached out his hand to grab ahold of Jesus. And Jesus saved him. He did not drown. And they got in the boat together.
(Otters are wonderful adventurers, but often bite off more than they can chew, and right smack dab in the middle of their adventure, they just might need some assistance. And then, they let you take over because they are on to the next adventure. You can’t keep a good Otter down.)
And now the storm is past and all was well…
UNTIL the next time Peter and friends forget what they have learned from the provision of the loaves and fishes and on the stormy sea…
What Do I Have to Offer?
Are you like me?
I think there’s an obvious reason why God impressed on me to call my business Loaves and Fishes Coaching., so many years ago. I have always loved this story. And that theme of the loaves and fishes is on my mind often:
What do I have to offer? Am I willing? Do I trust GOD to do with it as He sees fit? It is a timeless principle. A theme that I have to keep re-learning. I have to ask myself. Do *I* REALLY “get it”???
What about you?
Do you have to keep re-learning things about Jesus’ trustworthiness that you thought you already knew?
Can you honestly answer the question, “What do I have to offer?”
My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z
Pamela Taylor invites you to join her in this interactive acrostic devotional journal designed to draw you into the extremely personal and abundant love God has waiting for you. Experience the "Just ask..." of His love for you!
Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor