God Uses The Broken

In Matthew 14, there were five thousand people who needed to be fed.

The disciples’ idea:  Rely on Man

Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.

Jesus’s idea:  He can work beyond your limitations.

“They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”

Before the Miracle:

Knowing that what was needed was not possible humanly:

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

Give what you have to the Lord.  Even though you think it’s too little.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said.

Do as He tells you.  (Some who were listening might have been proud and did not follow.  Those who experienced the miracle were those who humbled themselves in their need and waited on the Lord.)

19a And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.

The Miracle:

Jesus looked up to heaven and gave thanks for something that was not enough.  What Ann Voskamp pointed out as “Eucharisteo”,  a Greek word meaning thanksgiving, to be thankful.  Envelopes the Greek root word charis meaning grace, and the derivative chara which is Greek for joy.  In giving thanks for what is already there, what is already given.  Even when it looks measly, ugly.  Perhaps even if it looks like anything but a blessing.

19b Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks

The loaves had to be broken in order to be shared.  What was broken became the provision.

19c and broke the loaves. 

Has something been broken in your life?  Do you feel a brokenness? God can work it for good.

Jesus began to give the broken loaves to His servants who in turn shared them with the people.

19d Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 

The provision was enough, even producing leftovers, twelve basketfuls, one for each disciple to remember what Jesus can do.

20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

The channel of blessing was the little boy who was not even counted among the five thousand. Five thousand only counted for the men.

21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Sometimes you think you don’t count.  “Little, insignificant, broken, imperfect” are the starting point for the Lord to work.  When you give it to Him, He can work it for good.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Edith who shared fresh insights into these passages. Please reveal to me what are the ways I limit you by relying on myself or other people for my need.  I acknowledge my need.  I acknowledge I can’t do this without You.  Help me to recognise that Your ways are different and higher than mine.  Give me Your wisdom to know what it is You want for my life.  Give me a revelation of what it is I already have that I can give to You whether it is a talent, a possession, anything that I am holding on to.  Help me to surrender it to You.  For Your glory.  Please help me to listen for Your voice and to obey You when I hear You.  Please help me to be thankful for what You have already given me.  Remind me that giving thanks gives way to Your miracle.  Your grace is sufficient for me and Your power is made perfect in my weakness.  You use what is broken. Thank You that in my brokenness, You can use me. For Your glory.  Thank You that You do not waste anything. All my pain and suffering, You will work out for good.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
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