“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7
Sunday night at church I had the privilege of teaching our children’s class. Since I was working with preschool and kindergarten ages I decided to teach them about Jesus feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fish. We talked about how Jesus performed a miracle with just one little boys lunch. I explained to them that God will provide for their needs no matter how big they are and no matter how little they have to give.
Last night, as I thought back on the lesson I had taught the kids and how God does supply all our needs, He brought another point to my mind. When we hear the story of the multitude being fed with such a small amount of food, we are often in awe at that miracle. Last night, my attention was drawn back to the little boy who gave his lunch to Jesus. Not a lot is said about the little boy, but having children of my own I can only imagine what must have been going through his mind as he watched the whole story unfold before his little eyes.
Put yourself in this little boy’s place for a moment if you will:
You wake up one morning, get dressed and ready for your day. Just before you run out the door, your mom hands you a small basket or bag of some sort and assures you that there is enough food in it for your lunch that day. Being a little fella you do not think much about it. You kiss your mom good-bye and you run out the door.
As you wander along, carrying your lunch, you happen upon a crowd of people. This is not just a couple of people standing around visiting. No, this is a very large group of people (a multitude the Bible says.) Being the curious child you are, you push your way through the people until you get close enough to the front to see what all the fuss is about. As you peek through the crowd, you see Him. It is Jesus and He is speaking, teaching the people who have gathered here. You stand there, gazing into the face of this man with the kind eyes, and you listen to His words as you try to understand what He is teaching these people.
As the day carries on you get so caught up in the words of this kind man who you forget all about the time. As it gets later in the day, maybe your stomach lets out a little growl reminding you of the lunch that your mom packed for you just this morning. As you find a quiet place to sit, away from the crowd, you open your lunch and find your favorite meal: fish and bread. Just about the time you begin to take the first bite, one of Jesus’ disciples comes up and asks you for your lunch.
What would you do? Would you gladly hand it over to this man, or would you tell him no? Would you be willing to part with the only food you had for that day, or would you tuck your little lunch under your arm, turn and walk away? We are not told what the little boy’s response is to the disciple, but we do know that the lunch was given and it was taken to Jesus.
Maybe the little boy had heard about Jesus. Maybe he had heard his parents talking about a man who performed miracles. Maybe the little boy, having the faith of a child, gladly handed his lunch over to the disciple knowing that it was going to Jesus. Can you imagine the surprise on the little boy’s face when he saw Jesus take his little lunch, bless it, and begin to pass it out?
I do not know where the little boy fell in the line of getting some of the meal, but it being the little boy’s lunch to begin with he knew that there were only fives loaves of bread and two fish. How must he have felt as he saw Jesus break it into pieces and give it to His disciples? I can only imagine how excited he must have been when the disciples came to him and handed him his part. How glad must he have been to sit down and share in this meal with this great crowd of people? The Bible tells us that they ate until they were full.
What do you think was going through this little boys mind as he watched the disciples gather the left over food? What must he have been thinking as he counted the baskets as they were filled and brought back to Jesus?
What started out as five loaves of bread and two fish had not only fed over five thousand people, but had also resulted in twelve baskets of left over food. Wow, what a miracle!
What do I want us to get from this story today? Well, There are a couple of things that God revealed to me as I put myself in this little boy’s place.
First, I believe that God wants us to have the faith of a child. This little boy had no idea what was going to happen when he gave away his lunch. But he gave it willingly. I believe that God wants us to give what we have. Even when we do not know God’s plan he wants us to trust that He can and will use it for His honor and His glory.
The second thing that God laid on my heart about this story is that the little boy gave his whole lunch. He did not just give the disciples a fish and a couple of loaves of bread and say, “I will keep the rest.” No, that little boy gave all that he had. In turn, God took it, blessed it, and multiplied it.
You see, God wants what we have. However, he does not just want part. God wants us to willingly give all that we are and all that we have to Him. I understand that just the thought of this can be a little scary and overwhelming, but just as Jesus took this little boys lunch and used it in ways the little boy could not imagine, God can do the same thing for each of us. If we will hand our lives over to God fully, He will take them and do unimaginable miracles in our lives.
I want to encourage you today. No matter how little you think you have, give it to God. Hand it over to Him fully. I promise that you will be amazed at the work God will do. I pray today that no matter what you have to offer that you will be willing to give your all.