Our Bible study group pondered over one of the
miracles of Jesus the other night. It’s a passage in Matthew 15 that describes
how the crowds followed Jesus to a remote area, bringing the lame and blind and
demon possessed before Him. And he heals them – thousands of them. Then the
passage says that he had compassion on the people because they had not eaten
for three days. So He told His disciples to find food for them. Food for 4,000
people. In the middle of nowhere. No restaurants nearby, no caterers ready and
willing to serve, not even a village where they could get a few vegetables and
Of course the disciples are nonplussed. They tell
Jesus what He already knows. They don’t have the means to feed so many. Then He
asks them a simple question. “How many loaves do you have?” (Matthew 15:34) We
can imagine the disciples showing him the seven loaves and the few small fish.
Then Jesus tells them to have the crowd sit down. I wonder what they thought
then. Did they think there was going to be a riot if they did not provide food
for so many? Did they think Jesus was foolhardy to make it seem that they
could? Why was he expecting so much of them?
The miracle that occurs then showed them, and us,
that he was not foolhardy. Neither was he expecting too much of them. He knew
exactly what they had and what they were capable of. But this was the God of
the universe, the one who created those few loaves and fish. The miracle that
occurs then showed them, and us, that even a small offering was enough, when it
was put into the hands of a mighty God.
When I published my first devotional book, Spur of
the Moment, I thought it would be a very small local effort. I was nervous about
ordering 500 copies and I was amazed when they sold out quite quickly. I was even
more amazed when I saw that little book travel to some very far away places –
places like India and England, Mexico and the South Pacific. Then God started
to show me what He can do when a small thing is put into His hands.
I began receiving letters and emails and
even a few phone calls telling me how that small book had changed their lives.
God had a plan. It was not my skilful inspiring
words that can change someone’s life. It was God’s Spirit that moved the hearts
of his people through the words in a small devotional book. And sometimes he
does it through a mystery or a romance or a fantasy novel. God has a plan to
heal and restore, to instil a renewed faith and to bestow joy beyond our
wildest dreams upon the lives of His people, through our words.
So, how many loaves do you have? Does it
seem like only a few crumbs in the face of a great need? Be encouraged. Jesus
will take those crumbs and make them enough. In fact, He will make them into an
abundance of blessing as they are fed to those who hunger for them.
So offer them up. Then stand back and
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta
Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She
was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel,
One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been
endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Marcia's
second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary
fiction category of The
Word Awards. Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for
writers can be downloaded here.
Visit Marcia's website