We read in the gospels that the miracle of the loaves and the fish being multiplied to feed the five thousand, was preceded by the Lord lifting up His eyes to heaven and giving thanks. Matthew 14:19. The same thing happened when He fed the four thousand. This thanksgiving that preceded the miracle was a wonderful sign of faith, and of the confidence that Jesus had in His heavenly Father’s provision for these hungry people.
Prior to this happening one of the disciples had suggested to Jesus that the crowd be sent away in order to be able to get some food in the surrounding villages. Jesus’ reply was, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” The disciples then looked at what they had got and quite reasonably replied “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish”. And so Jesus says, “Bring them here to me”. He gives thanks and then lets the disciples give out food they didn’t think they had.
I wonder how often you and I have seen a need to help, or an opportunity to bless someone, looked at our own resources and thought, “Nope! What I’ve got is just not enough.” “I’ve not enough time for this conversation”. “I’ve not enough money to give for this need.” “I’ve not enough patience to be kind in this situation.” “I’ve not enough faith to pray for this person.” I’ve not enough confidence to step out and do …X….Y or….Z. I’ve not enough knowledge to defend my faith.” Etc. etc. Fill in the gaps, you may be aware of your own areas of ‘lack’.
Well my thought today is that thanksgiving has this link to supernatural multiplication. I think that Jesus modeled something for us on these two occasions when He fed the crowd, and that was this. If we ‘bring what we have to Jesus’, and join Him by raising our hearts and our eyes to heaven, and give thanks for what we might see as meager resources, then we may well experience a miracle as we go ahead and give what we didn’t think we had.
It reminds me of the widow at Zarephath, who had so little, only enough in fact for one more meal during a time of drought. Elijah tells her to make, from this small amount of flour, a cake of bread and then He says “bring it to me” 1 Kings 17:7-16. She does this extraordinary faith filled action, effectively giving all she has to live on to God, as she feeds the ‘man of God’ Elijah. Then the miracle happens and she finds that God provides her with flour for bread, every day, until the drought ends.
Whenever we feel a lack, in whatever area of life, let us bring what we have to the Lord, and lay it at His feet. As we offer it to Him let us raise our eyes to heaven and give thanks. As we give, what we consider to be our meager resources, with thanksgiving, I think we will see the miracles happen. We will speak out in faith and find that what we have to say is good; our prayer however short and simple will be effective; as we give, may be others will give too, and needs will be met.
The central ingredient in the miracle is the giving of thanks. It is more than just giving the little I have to God. That’s a great start but as I give thanks, raising my eyes to heaven with faith, I look to the power and love of God to multiply all that I have offered. Jesus I believe gave thanks, because He knew that the miracle was going to happen.
In all areas of life practical, emotional, and spiritual, let us turn our ‘lack’ into an opportunity for a miracle. We don’t need to know how the miracle will happen, but we will grow in faith for a supernatural lifestyle as we bring to Jesus what we little we have, of our strength, patience, love and kindness, energy, time, wisdom etc, give Him thanks and then in faith ‘pour out’ what we have.