Have you experienced any miracles lately? Any miraculous healings, or perhaps an escape from some kind of storm or trial? When amazing things happen, we might sense God’s hand at work, or His power over life circumstances.
This week I read the story of Jesus as he fed 5,000 men (not counting women and children). He multiplied 5 loaves of bread, and 2 small fish into enough for all to be full, and have 12 basketfuls of left-overs. This miracle story is listed in all four gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all relate this amazing event. How did Jesus do this?
There are some interesting details. The small loaves were made of barley flour. This was the “poor man’s bread.” Wealthier folks ate bread made from wheat flour. The two small fish, were probably dried. One commentary suggested that they might have been sardines (or very similar). Do you like sardines? Whole grain bread is supposed to be good for our health, but my grandkids like white bread. Most of our bread, cake mixes, donuts, etc. are made with wheat flour. There are some who are allergic to gluten, so they have to learn what food items contain gluten, or wheat. We are probably pretty finicky about the fish we eat also.
As I read about this amazing miracle, I asked myself if I have ever seen such a miracle? I have seen some amazing things, and some divine encounters– but no multiplying of bread or fish. Then I heard a small voice ask me a question. “Mark, how many breads and fishes have you eaten in your lifetime? More than 5,000?”
So I did the math. 3 meals per day (average) x 365 days per year x 67 years of life = 73,365 meals so far in my lifetime. Not including snacks, and extra meals, or some missed. That astounding number seems pretty miraculous to me. How many miracles have I just “blown off and ignored?”
The gospel writers tells us that when Jesus’ disciples brought the young lad’s bread and fish to Jesus, He “GAVE THANKS,” and broke the bread…and did the same with the fish. Why did Jesus give thanks for poor man’s bread, and sardines? Jesus demonstrated then, and to us, the importance of thanking God for His blessings and His provision for us. DO YOU REMEMBER TO GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR YOUR DAILY FOOD? Or do you take for granted the daily miracles that your are receiving?
Growing up, my parents reminded me of starving children in other lands. They often made me try things that I didn’t like. I still don’t care for liver and onions very much. They wanted me to learn to value God’s blessings and provision. Here in America, we are very blessed. Yes there are food shortages, and “food insecurity.” And those of us who have enough are called to give to those who don’t.
So I have been reminded lately of how blessed I am by God’s daily miracles. Over 70,000 meals, and food in the freezer. I am reminded that I have great reasons for giving thanks. I am reminded that very often I am eating “rich man’s bread, and meat.” And I am reminded that Jesus stopped what he was doing because he saw this multitude of people and cared for their stomachs as well as their souls. He saw them as “sheep without a shepherd.”
If he cares for my stomach, and sees me as one of his sheep, then that is an even greater miracle! There are other everyday miracles happening. Cancer treatments, heart surgeries, blood transfusions, and broken limbs healing. There are boxes of food being distributed to people all over the world. There are servants of Jesus traveling across the globe to give bread and love and blessings to Jesus’ sheep. Are there miracles happening today? YES INDEED!