When I was a child living in Wyoming, my family went through a particularly hard time. My dad was a pastor of a small church that had recently grown smaller because he had refused to compromise on preaching truth. Needless to say, during this season our finances were virtually nonexistent and our cupboards were bare. We had two pot pies left in the bottom of the freezer and my mom cooked them for my brother and I. We were so hungry and they smelled so good as they cooked. As mom took them out of the oven, her hand slipped and they fell over upside down on the bottom of the oven. There was a lot of silence in that moment. My dad entered the room to see his hangry little family devastated and downtrodden. He looked at us and told us that we could trust in God. He would come through for us if we only believed.
We went to church that evening hoping that maybe someone would have pity on us and help us out. There was only one other person that showed up and they gave one dollar in the offering. As we left the church, my dad pulled into McDonalds to go through the drive thru. They were running a special; two hamburgers for a dollar. My mom handed the bag to my brother and I in the backseat and we consumed the burgers in record time. I can still remember catching my parents eyes hungrily watching us in the rear view mirror. We arrived home and unlocked the door to go inside. As we turned on the lights, we were all mesmerized by what we saw in front of us. On the kitchen table, there were twelve bags packed full of groceries. We began to pilfer through the bags and realized that these were all quality products. There were name brand items instead of generic and even sugar cereal, which my mom would have never ordinarily bought for us. The fridge also was filled with delectable items. Here’s the incredible part – all of the doors and windows were locked. There was no note taking credit for this generosity and no way that anyone could have entered our house. To this day we don’t know how those twelve bags of groceries made it to our table but the lesson that we will never forget is that we could always put our trust in God to take care of us.
In Mark 6, we read a similar story. Jesus and His disciples went for a boat ride to get some peace and quiet after ministering to many people. When they arrive at the far side of the lake, the crowd was waiting on them. When Jesus saw them, He was moved with compassion, love that requires action, and began to teach them many things. When it was getting late, the disciples suggested that Jesus send the people away to get something to eat in the nearby villages. Jesus looked at them and said, “You give them something to eat”. They responded appropriately for those with limited means and asked Him whether they should take all of their money and go buy enough food for the crowd.
Jesus asked what food they had in their possession. They responded, “Five loaves and two fish”. Jesus had the crowds sit down and He took the meager rations and blessed them and broke them and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the hungry multitude. They all ate until they were full and the disciples picked up twelve baskets full of leftovers. I’ve always thought that the leftovers were meant to prove a point to His followers. Not only is He able to meet the need, but He can do far more than they could ask or imagine. All that was required of them and of us is that we put our trust in God.