If you’ve been in church for any amount of time, you’re probably familiar with the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. After a long time of listening to Jesus’ teaching, the thousands who had gathered to hear Him were understandably hungry. Jesus sent His disciples into the crowd to look for food that could be shared amongst the people. One of them came across a little boy who offered up a lunch of five loaves of bread (likely small flatbread) and two small fish. Surely the boy knew it wasn’t enough to feed that many people. It was just enough food for him and maybe one other. But he offered what he had anyway.
That humble offering became one of the most fascinating and spectacular miracles recorded in the Gospels. Jesus multiplied the boy’s small lunch until there was enough food to feed every person present and then some!
I’ve always liked this story, but it’s become dear to my heart in the last couple years.
As a teenager, I discovered I had a knack for writing and fell in love with creating stories. From age fourteen to eighteen, I wrote three full-length novels and knew for certain that I wanted to be a published author one day. I’d found my purpose in life. Nothing could deter me from it.
Or could it?
After I turned 18, life and personal insecurities got in the way of my dream to the point that it was hanging on by the barest of threads. I was so close to giving up on it entirely. What if I wasn’t actually that good of a writer? What if it’s a waste of time and money to try to put my work out there in the world? After all, there are so many writers out there that are more talented than I am, and it's extremely hard to make good money in this industry. What if I should find a “real” career that I have a better chance at succeeding in?
After three years of hiding away my talent, God finally convicted me about it. He gave me this dream and these gifts for a purpose--HIS purpose. And who was I to refuse to use them?
In 2019, I began the process of digging up my buried talents and offering them to the Lord for Him to use. Now, three years later, I can hardly believe what all He has done with my meager offering. He has taken my writing, specifically my first published novel, to places all around the world that I will never physically go to and used it to minister to people’s hearts. He’s opened the door to opportunities and connections I never would have expected. Truly, my mind is continually blown!
Please know I don’t say any of this to brag or make myself look good. My goal is to help you see what is possible when you respond to Him in obedience.
If you think about it, there had to have been others in that crowd of 5,000 men plus women and children who had food with them. It wasn’t that they didn’t have anything to offer. Instead, perhaps they thought that what they did have wouldn’t make a difference.
Of all those people, only that little boy decided to give what he had. I’m sure he didn’t expect Jesus to multiply the meal into more than enough to feed everyone present. He just heard the request for food and responded in obedience.
What would’ve happened if that little boy kept his food for himself? Would the miracle have still happened? I know full well that Jesus could have made food out of thin air if necessary. But He was looking for obedience, someone who was willing to step out and offer what they had, even if it felt small and insignificant.
For me, my loaves and fish are my writing and everything I do associated with it. I know there’s always going to be someone more talented than me, with more resources and followers and other things in their favor. All I can do is give my best into Jesus’ hand and let Him do what He does best--multiply my effort into much more than I could ever do on my own.
What loaves and fish can you give to Jesus? Is it a talent for writing? Composing music? Teaching? Designing? Organizing? Making friends? Whatever you have to give, even if it doesn’t feel like much or you fear it’s not good enough--or if you think you’re not good enough--give it anyway. Offer it freely and humbly for the Master’s use, and let Him handle the rest.