They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward,
the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!
- Luke 9:17
When I think of the word abundance, I am reminded of HGTV’s My Lottery Dream Home. I also think about winning free Chick-fil-A breakfast for a lifetime. They both sound like wonderful blessings of abundance that the Lord could honor us with.
I’m not sure our human minds can grasp the concept of abundance entirely though. Our minds are limited. I cannot possibly imagine having everything I need when I need it without any worry or stress. Just like winning the lottery, it’s a shot in the dark. The odds are slim. While there have been countless lottery winners, winning doesn’t happen often. If I can’t imagine abundance in this life, is it even real?
One of the most famous of Jesus' miracles takes place in Luke 9:10-17, when He fed 5,000 people. Wow! Southern Living magazine and all Southern mamas would be quite impressed! But listen up, y’all. This is not the same as churning out 5,000 hot dogs and nachos on game day. You know how they fed all these people? The disciples were only able to come up with 5 loaves of bread and 2 pieces of fish. Ummmmm… Feed the 5,000, you said? Sounds too expensive.
It’s a mind-boggling miracle. Did these people receive mere crumbs of bread? How big were the fish exactly? Sometimes I wonder if Jesus kept pulling from the same part of the bread while it regenerated until it was enough to feed them all.
While we may never know exactly how Jesus did it, according to the verse above, there were leftovers! Huh?! I am just as shocked as you are! How do you feed 5,000 people until they are full with limited resources? Feel free to read the full story in Luke 9. The same passage is also found in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, and John 6:1-15. I’ve come to the conclusion that this passage was written multiple times so that we wouldn’t forget that it really happened. I also believe that God wanted us to know that He truly can do something impossible even when our abilities and resources are limited.
So how does God’s blessing of abundance play out in our own lives? I don’t think that He will ask any of us to feed 5,000 people, but God is so powerful that He really could ask someone to repeat this miracle again! But here are a few things that the Bible does promise in abundance: peace, joy, and eternal life.
Maybe I won’t have a lifetime of free Chick-fil-A breakfast, but taking upon the peace of God when I am stressed or anxious sounds like a good deal. He won’t run out of anything that you or I need.
I do a lot of things to relieve my stress: I practice yoga, do breathing exercises, talk to a trusted friend. While all of these things are good, trusting God by sharing our stresses, anxieties, fears, insecurities, and weaknesses with Him acknowledges that we know we are limited and that God is not.
Our limitations don’t limit Him. When we pray, we surrender by asking for His involvement in our greatest needs and to help us to stop striving. Do what you can do and leave the rest up to Him.
1. In what areas of your life do you strive to get what you want but fall short?
2. How can you involve God to help you know and trust in His abundance in this particular area of striving?
All-seeing God, You know my greatest need even before I have even uttered a word. Somehow in my striving, I have forgotten that I need Your help. I want to trust You when I am too tired to keep going. Abundance comes from Your hands alone. All things are possible with You, Amen.
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