“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.’”
The little boy who gave his lunch to Jesus witnessed a miracle he would never forget. His lunch (perhaps lovingly packed by his mom) consisted of five small barley loaves and two little fish. Jesus took the loaves and broke them, multiplied the fish, and gave it to thousands of people sitting on the hillside (with plenty left over). We ought to remember that account when we see a Christian brother or sister enduring difficult times but hanging on to the grace of God. When we suffer, it’s as though God is breaking us, as Jesus broke those barley loaves. But out of our brokenness, He can increase courage, hope, and blessing for others—proving to them that His grace is sufficient and inspiring them to persevere. Yes, it hurts to be broken, but what a privilege to be multiplied in God’s hands!
Lord, let me be like that little boy who willingly gave up all he had into Your hands. He gave up everything but lost nothing! Before an hour had passed, he had more bread and fish than he had started with. I will never like the “breaking” part of life, Lord, but it’s a great consolation to know I’m in Your loving hands.