“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to His disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.” Mark 6:41-43 (NIV)
Before we leave the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, there’s another image we need to see. It’s the image of the church and God’s people. So, imagine the scene as if you were there. This is how I see it happening. Jesus is standing with the bread loaves and the fish, breaking the bread and handing it to each of His disciples, who pass it on to the first people sitting before them. Those people have more left over which they pass on to others behind them. And, those have more left over and do the same. Imagine that sunny hillside in Galilee. Watch as the people receive their food and turn, seeing the ripple of humanity in a great wave as the food, ever multiplying, makes its way out to the people at the farthest edge of the horizon.
This is, of course, the story of the good news and our part in it. It is a picture of the spread of the gospel through time and history. It is a beautiful image of how we are part of the great miracle of redemption in human history. God uses the ripple effect. Like a pebble in a pond, you and I are part of the work of God that goes forward, touches others, and transforms lives. We are part of the cascade of events that started with Jesus and His disciples then, the apostles and the early church, and down through time to the present day.
Likewise, the miracle God has for you might be the start of a ripple that will extend to others around you and into eternity. But, note that the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand started with the bread being broken: “He gave thanks and broke the loaves.” The miracle starts here.
Before God can work with you and me, before the bread can be multiplied, we have to be broken. As you look to find your miracle, understand the power of being broken. Know that a miracle in your life will happen in the context of realizing your own powerlessness, your brokenness, and remembering what God can do. God has to allow you and me to be broken of our pride, of thinking we can handle the problem on our own, of believing we can somehow come up with a solution by ourselves.
Has He already been breaking you? Maybe you’ve experienced a broken heart. Your emotions have been shattered. Your dreams have been shattered. Your life is in pieces emotionally. Maybe your self-esteem has been shaken as your business has faltered, you’ve lost your job, or you’ve been rejected too many times in your job search. Maybe you’ve been broken physically and, after years of great health and strength, you’re now feeling weak and vulnerable. I believe with all my heart that God allows us to go through times of brokenness so He can bless us. Brokenness always precedes blessing. Jesus broke the bread and, then, He did the miracle. If you are at a place of brokenness right now, be ready. God is about to act.