No Panera? Just bring what’s in your lunchbox
This post is for the one who feels like stale bread, thin soup.
I have known seasons of exhaustion and fatigue, feeling inadequate to keep all the spinning plates from crashing down around my head. Knowing that what was in my basket to share was a small and meager ration; i.e., “not enough.”
If this is you, then the story of a young boy from long ago will instruct you. It is told in the book of Mark in the New Testament. It’s a precious account, really, for it showcases Christ’s humanity and His divinity. It goes something like this.
One day, Jesus saw that His disciples needed a break. They had been burning the candle on both ends, praying for more wax. “Let’s blow this town,” He said, “and hoof it into the desert to get some rest.” Thus, they piled into a dinghy, probably purchased from Cabela’s, and they lit out.
However. Crowds got wind of their presence as they hoofed past in the dinghy. That quick, folks started coming out of the woodwork from all the towns, and they crashed that much-needed desert retreat.
When Jesus stepped onto the shore and saw the large crowd, the Bible says that He had compassion on them. He saw that they were like shepherd-less sheep, and so instead of booting them, He began to teach them.
As the day wore on, His posse came to Him and said, “Look. They’re gettin’ hungry and cranky. Why don’t You announce an intermission and tell ’em to hit up Panera in the next town over?” (Well, that’s what they would have said if Panera had been a thing back then. But you get the gist here.)
Then Jesus got nuts. Was it the desert heat? What in the world, because He said the oddest thing. “YOU give them something to eat.”
As one, every eyebrow on every apostolic forehead shot up to join each hairline. “Huh? What? How do you expect us to pay for this?” That was the upshot of the squawking, and then their Boss really lost it.
“How many loaves of bread do you have?” He asked them. Which is when they took to canvassing the ravenous crowd and found the kid with the Superman lunchbox.
“Five,” they said, “and two fish.” And they tipped the lunchbox over into His waiting hands.
At the Boss’ direction, those rough-and-tumble men made everybody sit down, splittin’ ’em into hundreds and fifties. As they worked, the Boss Man looked up into the heavens, and He prayed to His Big Boss Man.
Like a team of seasoned caterers from Nelson’s Port-A-Pit, they began passing out the food to the vast assembly. On and on and on and on, the fish and bread kept coming.
“Now hit the clean up!” said the Lord, and they piled leftovers into baskets, and they kept on a-piling ’til there were 12 baskets full and running over. For 12 weeks after that, they had fish sandwiches with Hellman’s mayo and sparkling grape juice for lunch. Every day.
The reason I tell this tonight is that when Jesus is your friend, it’s okay to not have enough. To not be enough.
It’s okay to bring your own small Superman lunchbox to Him and allow Him to bless what’s in it. It wasn’t the number of fish plus loaves that mattered. It was the One Who was in charge of the multiplication.
Turned out that what the boy had WAS enough. Turned out that he got the crazy joy and storytelling rights that come with being part of a miracle. That come from helping to feed the masses.
Now. You still think you don’t have enough?