Gather the Fragments “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”  John 6:9 Andrew’s answer is so typically our own.  With what is available, what difference can be made in the midst of such a large need? Jesus had just given an oral test to Philip as he sat with his disciples on the mountaintop.  The multitudes had gathered and the question presented. “Where shall we buy bread that these shall eat (vs. 5)?”   Philip’s answer was even more restrained responding with a statement of finality. Even the substantial amount in his hand wouldn’t buy bread enough to fill a tiny spot of their hunger.  From Philip’s statement to Andrew’s question, the Lord is able to expand our limited mindsets to receive and distribute the resources of heaven ready to meet every need.  Jesus and his disciples had just crossed over the Sea of Galilee (vs. 1).  The perspective often looked the same from one side of this tiny, yet often turbulent, lake to the other, especially if the disciples were looking down. The pebbles on one shore looked much like those on the other shore.  But movement is being made. Progression is happening. Crossing over from one side to the other requires agreement and momentum.  Yet this movement is only a part of the journey.  On the other side, a mountain awaited. This time the momentum was not that of yielding to the boat, but extending muscles necessary to ascend. Yet this climb was a drawing invitation.  That mountain provided a bit of momentary solace for the Lord to have time with His disciples.  Up the mountain they went and they sat down together (vs. 3).   The crowd was gathering again and thus the question.  Philip said, “We don't have it.” Andrew questioned, “We have it, but how can it be enough?”  With child-like faith, the little lunch was offered. This offering was not made by the disciples, but by a little boy who too was hungry, and tired, and in need of a miracle. Yet his precious lunch bag was given so others could eat.  The lunch first was taken, thanks was offered, then it was blessed, and then it was given (vs. 11).   The disciples didn’t see the miracle happen, the miraculous multiplication happened as they walked and gave what they had to others. “Now there was much grass in the place (vs. 10).”  Grass represents life, growth, and fertile soil.   It’s in that place that we and the hungry can rest and eat.  He told his disciples to “make the people sit down (vs. 10).”  “He makes us to lie down in green pastures … (Ps. 23:2).”  And in that place “all were filled (John 6:12).”  When we give what little we have to others the Lord multiplies and blesses.  Baskets are increased, and multiplied fragments are gathered, that nothing is lost (vs. 12).  The miracle meets the need. And the Lord is glorified (vs. 14). We give, He multiplies, we distribute, others receive Life, we have much in return, and He is worshipped.   Miracle enough!!!   In this time of need, let nothing be viewed as a limitation but all offered to be utilized by our unlimited Lord.  It’s to us and through us that He offers the opportunity to show forth His glory. In Him, Pastor Sharon Carlson
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