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October 19, 2016

The Miracle of Provision

“You have eyes, but you don’t really see. You have ears, but you don’t really listen. Remember when I divided five loaves of bread for the five thousand? How many baskets did you fill with leftover pieces of food? They answered, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And when I divided seven loaves of bread for the four thousand, how many baskets did you fill with leftover pieces of food?’ They answered, ‘Seven.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t you understand yet?’“ Mark 8:18-21 (NCV)

The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels. It is a miracle of provision. The story is the same in each gospel, but the four writers include slightly different details. There’s a short verse in Mark’s account that is easy to miss:

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” (6:34)

This miracle was not just about material food. It was about Jesus, about God being present with those who need a shepherd. It was about Him providing for you and me. It was Jesus standing on a hillside saying, “I am here, and we’re going to do something amazing. Just like before when My Father provided manna in the desert. Remember?”

Do you remember what He’s done before? Are you looking for a miracle in your life? It might be big or small; but, so often, even the smallest needs feel huge and impossible. If you are to find your miracle today, you need to remember what God has done in the past. How have you experienced God’s provision in the past? I encourage you to spend time in prayer with God, not just asking Him for your miracle, but recounting all the things He’s done for you in the past. In Isaiah 46:9, God says,

“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like Me.”

I love this verse! I suggest you put this on your refrigerator and memorize it. This verse challenges me to remember all the miracles God has done in the past. When I do, my faith grows stronger to believe Him for the miracle I need today.

The needs you and I face today are part of God’s plan to help us focus on what He can do, not on what we can’t do. Maybe like the disciples, you are feeling totally overwhelmed and under-resourced. Maybe you’re like Andrew who brought a little boy’s sack lunch to Jesus saying, “I know it’s not much, but it’s all I could come up with. Just a few loaves and a couple of fish.”

If that’s you, hear God reply, “I’ll work with that. By the way, remember what I’ve done before?”

Whatever your need, whatever you’re going through, I can tell you this: nothing is impossible with God. Remember what God can do! His name is Jehovah Jireh – the Lord will provide!