And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
That miracle is recorded in all four Gospels. But the miracle of “The Feeding of the 4000” is a separate miracle only recorded in Matthew and Mark.
Both miracles point us to the miraculous provision of God. One of the lessons of each miracle is that God provides us with what we need.
As I explored in the devotions “Miraculous Feeding” and “Satisfaction”, there are other miracles of God providing people with food that they need. God provided manna and quail for the People of Israel during their Wilderness Wanderings following the Exodus (Exodus 16). And God provided bread for 100 men through his prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4).
God will always provide exactly what we need at the exact right moment. But there are a couple of things to consider.
One, God is never late and seldom – if ever – early.
There are times when I have waiting for God to come through, show up, or in some way provide for me. But I was disappointed because I had my own schedule and God wasn’t interested in my schedule.
It’s not a bad thing to have a schedule, but it is important to remember that our vision is limited, while God’s is not. What we think is the right time for God to act and provide is limited to our view on things. God is not restricted in his view so he knows the exact right time to act and provide!
When I look back at all those times in my life when God has acted in my life and provided, I see that it was exactly what I needed and at the exact perfect time! God is never late and seldom – if ever – early!
Two, don’t go to a place where it will take a miracle to save you from it!
There are times when I have put myself in an impossible situation and it was only by the grace of God that I got out of it. God gave us a brain and wants us to use it! Don’t get yourself into a place where it will take a miracle to save you from it! God can do it, don’t get me wrong. But if I get into tough spots because I hadn’t let God control my life, then that isn’t what God wants for my life! He wants something better for me!
When we read about how Jesus feeds the 5000 and then the 4000, both times he uses what has already been given to provide for so many more.
With the feeding of the 4000, Jesus makes a point to ask them what the disciples have. I believe he wants them to see that it doesn’t matter how much they have but that they simply have gifts and provisions from God.
God wants to use what we have already been given and have in our possession now.
We have the ordinary things. God will take care of the miracle. And we give glory and thanksgiving to God for both!
Heavenly Father, even as you bless your servants with various and unique gifts of the Holy Spirit, continue to grant us the grace to use them always to your honor and glory; through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
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