Sunday, March 31, 2019

John 6:9-13 -- On Having, and Being, Enough

"There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten."
John 6:9-13

The miracle of loaves and fishes is pretty cool... Christ somehow making 5 loaves and 2 small fishes enough to feed five thousand people.  Seems like that ability would make a lot of things easier, and if Christ could feed everyone, why not do it more often?  I think the answer is probably twofold.  One, that we need to learn to be self-reliant and industrious in our lives rather than lapsing into constant laziness, and two, that we need to focus on spiritual things.  If we come unto Christ just to be fed physically, we might miss the greater, spiritual feast.

The other thing I like is the general idea of making less than enough, enough.  I think that God does this with many, many more things that just loaves and fishes.  We read about most of the prophets telling God that they are inadequate in some way... slow of speech is a popular one... and God makes up for their weaknesses every time.  It works for us as well.  God makes us able to do anything he asks us to do.  Sure, we have weaknesses and faults and we lack the capacity to do all the things that we need to do... but God makes us equal to the task.  ... Not typically by making us supermen and superwomen.  Not usually by giving us instant knowledge or skill that makes us brilliant beyond our natural capacity.  Those things (including superhero status) are still going to take time to develop.  What God does most often is exactly what he did with the loaves and the fishes.  He finds out what we have to give, and he takes it, and he multiplies it and makes it enough.  He makes *us* enough.

We'll learn everything we need to learn in time, and someday be superhero-perfect.  We're not there yet... but it is also okay, because whatever we have is enough, if we give it to the Lord.  We of course should be learning and improving daily, but for today, let's try to remember that being willing and obedient is just as good as being brilliant and competent.  With God's help, whatever we are and whatever we have to give is enough.

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