Seeing Broken Bits Multiplied into Blessings

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This is the continuation of an earlier post about a Bible study in which I’m facilitating and participating.

Andrew spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small
barley loaves and two small fish,
but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
There was plenty of grass in that place, and they
sat down (about five thousand men were there).
Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed to those who were seated
as much as they wanted.
He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat,
he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are
left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets
with the pieces of the five barley loaves
left over by those who had eaten.
~ John 6:8-13

The Comparison Trap:  Week Three, Day Three… Some of my reminders and my takeaways from the daily devotional include:

For me, this is one of the most powerful devotions in the Comparison Trap study, so far.

I’ve been going through some things in my life… things that are uncomfortable, and circumstances which have pushed me to limits I didn’t know I had. I find hope in the Scripture above, even though the expectant hope and personal application I’ve found in it is somewhat outside the context of the verses.

Here are the three things which stand out the most to me:

  1. “Here is a boy…”  He’s a boy. Not a pastor, teacher, business man, or anyone who might stand out to others. He’s a boy.
  2. “Let nothing be wasted…,” said Jesus. I’ve always known He told the disciples to gather what remained, but I’ve never consciously read those words to the point that they’d stand out, even though my study Bible is an older New International Version (the same as the Scripture above).
  3. God provides, and He turns what we have to offer Him into blessings.

So here are my main takeaways from the three aspects which stand out to me:

  1. I am the boy. You are the boy. Whatever we have to offer Him, he can use. Am I willing to recognize that even a small offering can be a blessing? That He can use it for the good of others? That my faith can grow when I am willing to share the gifts He’s given me?
  2. God wastes nothing.  I’ve said this so many times to myself, and I’ve written about it, too. Yesterday, in a weepy breakdown, I just kept repeating this over and over to myself, and here it is in the Scripture today. He’s going to create a way for the broken bits and pieces of my life to be multiplied, shared, and gathered, because He is the One who commands that nothing be wasted.
  3. He’s ready to multiply my faith and turn it into blessings for me and for others. We don’t know the attitude of the boy who offered up his lunch, but we do know what was done with it. I need to keep reminding myself that this life isn’t just about me and my weepy circumstances; it’s about how He can and will use those circumstances for His good if I’m willing to lay them at His feet.

Sandra Stanley asks, “What did it do to the boy’s faith to watch Jesus turn his small offering into a blessing for so many others? What could it do to your faith to watch God do the same with what you can offer?”

She goes on to encourage us to fight the feelings that our little bits could never go far enough, and to instead, trust God to make our bits astoundingly more—immeasurably more, even.

In my weepy moments and in my joyous ones, it’s important for me to remember that He commands nothing be wasted, and that what I have IS less important than what I do with what I have. The impact is made when I’m willing to offer up what I have for Him to use.



Jesus Wept―Finding Hope in the Sorrow

Jesus Wept

Jesus wept.

John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible, but some feel it is one of the most powerful.


Lazarus had died, and Jesus spent time with Lazarus’ sisters seeing them through their grief. Jesus hadn’t hurried to Bethany or spoken a command to prevent Lazarus’ death, but at the point of His weeping, He knew He’d be raising Lazarus from the dead. So why did He weep?

There are a lot of wonderful commentaries on the subject of why Jesus wept. For insightful, doctrinal reasons, I’d refer you one of my favorite writings on the subject via Jon Bloom’s perspective from John Piper’s ministry and the Desiring God blog and website.

For me, I find great comfort in knowing that Jesus wept and grieved with Mary and Martha over his dear friend Lazarus. He showed His full humanity in connection with exercising His full deity in raising Lazarus from the dead. In showing His humanity, He grieved.

Does He grieve when I weep?

Does He grieve when a parent mourns the death of their child?

Does He grieve when villages are wiped out from disease or atrocities?

Does He grieve when a child is abused and forever changed?

Does He grieve when a husband makes the choice to abandon his marital vows?

Does He grieve when a wife is caught up in the compliments of another man?

Does He grieve when families fall apart from not seeking His path?

Does He grieve when we grieve??

Yes. He grieves for us as His children. He grieves for a fallen world.

In regards to Lazarus:  Knowing all He knew, knowing all He was capable of doing in the situation, and still knowing what He would do afterward, our amazing God and Lord wept.

In regards to us:  Knowing all He knows, knowing all He is capable of doing in our situation, and still knowing how―with our obedience, love and cooperation―He plans to work our hurts and our weeping for good, we can know He weeps with us, too. He weeps with us about what we have done, about what has been done to us, and about what has been done in this world.

Through my own trials and challenges, I know He has wept with me as He’s held me in His strength to walk me through my anguish. I know He has wept as He has comforted me in His loving arms.

Jesus wept. He weeps with you, too. Go to Him.


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