by Kaiting Teo
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the story about how God multiplied five loaves and two fish to feed 5000 people (John 6:1-14).
If you haven’t, it goes something like this: Thousands of people had gathered to listen to Jesus and be healed from their sicknesses, and after a long day out in the hills, Jesus asks His disciples how they were going to feed them.
The question is rhetorical because He already has a plan, but the disciples respond with their own logic, telling Him there’s no way to get food out in the countryside, and even if they did it’ll cost them thousands of dollars, which they don’t have.
Jesus persists and tells them they were to feed the people anyway, and one of them brings to Him a little boy who was willing to offer Jesus His packed lunch of five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus then prayed over the bread and gave it to His disciples to distribute. They not only feed the 5000 people present, they have 12 baskets leftover after the world’s greatest picnic ends!
I wouldn’t blame you if you’re wondering if that actually happened. But today I have no doubt God’s power, because I’ve experienced that amazing scene myself.
Last year, I took part in a school trip to Cambodia. On our last day there, we had a “cultural night” where we cooked for the villagers and celebrated with them.
As the time for the big dinner drew near, everyone was busy cooking and getting the dining hall ready. Things weren’t off to a great start as it was raining very heavily and there was a chance that our programme had to be cancelled.
Anxiety built even further when twice the number of families than we’d prepared food for showed up – almost 200 families. We were certain there wouldn’t be enough to feed everyone.
However, God always makes a way out.
Serve My people and I will provide for you in abundance. I was sure I heard Him speak to my worried heart, but I wasn’t sure what He meant. Joining my team as we distributed the food to them, I felt faith arise that with the Lord, we’d have more than enough to give … somehow.
As I gave out bowl after bowl of chicken curry, I made it a point to smile and pat their shoulder, believing even the smallest gestures of love would bless them. I wanted to show them God’s love, even if what I had to offer was so little.
You wouldn’t believe it – and we barely could either – but at the end of the night, there were so much leftover food that there was enough to feed my whole team, our lecturers and every household in that village.
The rain didn’t stop the whole evening, but as the festivities and laughter swelled in the small community hall, I sensed the presence of the Lord moving in that place, and my heart was so full. I never forgot what I learnt about the God of the so-much-more through that simple dinner.
The same God who multiplied the five loaves and two fish is still providing for us in abundance today – we simply have to place our faith in Him.
This article originally appeared on Thir.st, on December 11, 2017.