Twelve Baskets of Leftovers

Today’s post is one that I hope will be an encouragement to you no matter where you are on the spectrum of life:  From the Cradle to the Grave.  Whether you are dealing with young children or caring for an elderly loved one, we all get to an empty dessert place.  I hope this blesses you and I hope you Share it to reach others.  Because we never know who around us is going through a hard time we know nothing about.

Matthew 14:15-21  (KJV)  Most of us who have had a drug problem know this story.  Our drug problem was that we were drug to Sunday School.  We were drug to Worship Service.  We were drug to Wednesday night Bible Study.  It’s the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.  For those of you who may not have been drug to church (yes! I know grammatically it is “dragged”…move on Grammar Police…nothing to see here!) I will give you the Cliff notes version:  Jesus has been teaching and healing  scuds of people and now it’s supper time and the disciples know there are no Chick-Fil-A’s around so they encourage Jesus to send these people home before they get hangry.  It is from this story that key phrases jumped out at me today.

vs 15.  “This is a desert place,”  These people were out in the desert.  There were NO resources available to feed so many people.  Are you at a place in your life where you feel like YOU’RE in a desert place?  Are you out of resources?  Do you desperately need help and it looks like there’s no where to turn?  I have found that Jesus likes to take us out into desert places.  He likes for us to realize we are all out of options.

vs 15.  “the time is now past;” Do you feel like your time has come and gone?  Is there some dream that you KNOW God put down in your heart, but it hasn’t happened yet and you fear that your time has past?  You are too old to start over.  You are too old to get into shape.  You are too old to break bad habits.  You are too old to… it’s different for each of us.

vs 15.  “send the multitude away,” The disciples wanted Jesus to send the multitudes away because they thought they had no way to feed them.  Maybe the enemy has told you that you are all alone.  You feel you have no one left to help you.  Sometimes we face things that literally we can’t tell anyone about.  Even though your “multitude” has gone away, you still have a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverb 18:24)

Here’s my favorite part…

vs 16. “But Jesus”  I have found time and time again in my life when I am at my wits end and there’s no help in sight…but Jesus.  When there is no one to turn to…but Jesus.  When all else has failed…but Jesus.  Too many times we get stressed out because we forget He doesn’t need to be our “back up plan”.  He needs to be our First Plan of Action!

vs 18.  “He said, Bring them hither to me.”  I love it!  The disciples are panicking because what they have (5 loaves and 2 fishes from verse 17) seems so insignificant.  It seems so little compared to a problem so big. (I’ll admit…5,000 peeps is a lot of mouths to feed…but Jesus…)  You may be down to your last 5 loaves and 2 fishes.  ALL your other options have failed.  Quit giving in to those thoughts of lack.  Take your problem and your meager supplies and give them to Jesus.

vs 19.  “And HE commanded…HE blessed, and brake, and gave”  No matter how much rice you and I added to the casserole, we couldn’t make it feed 5,000.  No matter how many book stores I send my book to.  No matter how many colleges you apply to.  No matter how many dates you go on.  No matter how many house plans you look at.  No matter how many assisted living facilities you visit.  No matter how many diets you try.  NOTHING is going to work as well as when we give it to Jesus and HE commands, blesses, (yes, sometimes breaks) and finally HE gives.

And you know what the result of us giving our problems to Jesus is?

vs 20.  “And they did ALL eat, and were FILLED:”  HE can do what we cannot.  It seems impossible, but it’s not with God.   Nothing shall be impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)  Not only does God take care of our needs but He does abundantly more than we could ask or think! (Ephesians 3:20)  He didn’t just feed them…they were FILLED…FULL!

vs 20  “and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.”  Ok, so there are times when Jesus just shows off!  He’s done it so many times in my life.  Times when He could have just met a need, but oh, no, He went above and beyond in meeting that need.  He gave me twelve baskets full of leftovers.  🙂  I’m telling you, whatever YOUR need is…give it to Jesus…it will blow your mind at how well He can fill our deepest hungers.  No matter how big your dreams and desires are.

I know there are many people in this world who are hurting today.  Many have lost all hope.  They feel like they are in that dessert place starving to death.  Chin up, buttercup!  I know the One who delights in working miracles.  So I will leave you with the following verse.  It just so happened to be on the opposite page from the passage I read this morning.

Matthew 13:58 “And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

Go ahead.  Try Him.  Give Him your problems.  Just don’t forget to bring along your twelve baskets for His leftovers!

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