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, "Eight months' wages would not 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 the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 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.
After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
John 6:1-15 The Word from the Bible New Revised Standard Version
Over the last 6 weeks or so, our pastor has been preaching about spiritual gifts and how God uses each one of us. Oh, my.... I wish each one of you could be a part of this time in our church. God is moving strongly thru our congregation and thru me... I feel each and every week.
This last week the sermon was based on the passage of scripture above. I must admit that at first I was a bit puzzled. However, I quickly began following and our pastor opened my eyes to view this very familiar story in a whole new way.
You see, I had always read this story and thought of it as one of Jesus' many miracle-performing times. I looked at what Jesus did in the feeding of the 5000. And, while that is VERY important part of this story, there is another person that is just as important.
Have you ever thought about the little boy that gave up his two small fish and five loaves of bread? Have you ever thought "What if that little boy had not been there?" or "What if that little boy would not have given Jesus his fish and loaves of bread?" What would have happened? We don't know. But, I can tell you this -- Jesus would not have fed five thousand people on two fish and five loaves of bread. There may have been a miracle that day, but it would not have been the miracle in this story that showed five thousand persons how Jesus can feed us all and would not be the story that still speaks such a powerful message to us today.
Of course, this leads me to think, "How does God use me?" and "Have I withheld something that kept God from moving in a particular circumstance?" Unfortunately, I'm afraid the answer to that last question is Yes. I have not followed every time I felt God leading in a particular direction. Sad, but true.
As I've thought through all of this over the last week or so I have found that my way of thinking is starting to change. I'm finding that I am looking more openly at the events of my days and looking for the doors the Lord may be opening along the way. I'm noticing more the people around me and seeing ways in which I may be able to help them... even if is just opening a door for someone when their hands are full or allowing someone to move in front of me in traffic.
I am so thankful that God made sure I was in this particular service. It has spoken so very strongly to me and I have a feeling that it will for some time to come. I don't want to be a hindrance to God in any way. I want to fling the doors wide open and be a vessel for Him wherever He may lead!