What are Your Fish and Loaves? By Pastor Shari Stephens 0

Matthew 14:14-21 says,

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Often in our lives, we may feel like the disciples and the multitudes who were following Jesus.  They had been out all day, at a remote place, in the hot sun, listening to God.  They were trying to do the right thing, but they were still getting hungry.  Do you ever feel like you have been in this place?  I know, I sure have spiritually.

The disciples saw a disaster coming their way.  Thousands of people, listening to Jesus; no food or water.   Not a good look.  They could see tomorrow’s headlines, “Jesus lets his followers parish for lack of food and water.”  Or maybe “Jesus didn’t provide for his followers, so they fainted by the wayside.” The disciples wanted to send the people away, so they could get something to eat. Jesus had other thoughts for them.

He wanted to provide for them right where they were.  They had come to hear and see Jesus, they had brought their sick, they were seeking after him.  Jesus wanted to meet their needs, Himself.  He asked the disciples to bring Him what they had. All they had was two fish and five loaves.

I would ask you, in your barren place, what do you have?  What can you put in the master’s hands to make a difference for you?  He did not say, “let’s take the people from this barren place to a lush, bountiful valley, that has a river full of fish, next to a bread factory, that can feed all the people.”  No, he chose to meet their need, in the barren place, with what was there.

In this situation, believe it or not, the miracle was the easy part, because God does that.  The challenge was getting the fish and loves into Jesus’ hands, because we do that part. Most of us aren’t praying for the fish and loaves.  Most of us are too busy praying for the miracle.   Most of us, in this type of situation, are praying that we be removed from it and taken to the bread factory with the stocked river.  But God’s deliverance for you is right in the dessert with you.

Look around, naturally and spiritually.  Perhaps you will see your two fish and five loaves.  What can you put in his hands, right where you are?  What can you give him to bless and multiply?

Father, open our eyes to our fish and loaves today.

In Jesus Name,


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