Those dreaded words. It feels like there’s never a way to avoid them. They always seem to come just after I think to myself “maybe she won’t ask this time”.
Every husband probably knows the exact scenario. You order the food you want with absolute accuracy depending on how hungry you are…if you’re me you order a little extra to make sure you’re good and satisfied. Then you’re part way through the meal and she asks:
“Can I have a bite?”
AHHHH. (I think to myself….most of the time, occasionally it actually comes out)
I ordered the exact amount that I needed and if I share, there just won’t be enough left over for me.
If we’re all honest, this doesn’t always stop at food. These feelings of scarcity creep into most areas in our life at some point, but that’s not the way God calls us to live.
Let’s look at the story of feeding the 5,000. This is the only miracle Jesus performed aside from the resurrection, that was recorded in all 4 gospels of the New Testament. I feel like that tells us something about the importance of this principles in the story.
The account of this story that we’ll reference today comes from John 6:5-13:
‘Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. ‘
Living with a scarcity mindset isn’t unique to our generation’s and our day and age. Even the disciples, the 12 closest to Jesus struggled with it.
We serve a God that takes our “I don’t have enough” or “It’s impossible, it’ll never work” and says “Watch me turn your lack into everyone around you’s abundance.”
Andrew basically said “we couldn’t make a dent with 5 loaves and 2 fish if we tried, there’s 5,000 families here!” and Jesus’ response was simply, to have the people sit down and receive.
He supplied their needs and then some. 12 baskets filled with left overs. Arguably a basket of leftovers for each disciple to have his own. That shows me that we serve a God that can take what appears to be lack and create resource for thousands and still have left overs for me that supplies MORE than my need. Just so long as I’m willing to forfeit what appears to be “just enough for me to eat, but not enough to share.”
Especially as we enter the Christmas season, how can we give outside ourselves where there is need? Know that when you do, our God is a God of abundance, not scarcity. He owns cattle on 1,000 hills and your needs and requirements don’t scare him. Seek FIRST the Kingdom, and all else will be added to you.