Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
My grandson accidentally let go of his six-year-old sister's new birthday balloon. Just minutes previously, she'd been thrilled to receive a shiny, foil-coated balloon depicting her favourite Frozen characters. But filled with helium, it floated up, up … and away.
The resulting temper outburst was magnificent! I was filled with awe and admiration that this little girl, normally of such sunny disposition, could give vent to her displeasure so plainly. She stomped and cried and yelled, making her anger, frustration, and distress felt by the whole family. Her hapless brother ceased trying to apologize and console her, and simply slunk away in disgrace.
Then, as the storm of emotion began to subside, her four-year-old sister crept close. Large eyes full of compassion, she pushed the string of her own balloon into her sister's hand. "You can have mine," she offered quietly. It wasn't a birthday balloon, but it had pleased her tremendously. Just an ordinary balloon — but what a sacrifice for a tiny girl! Her generosity moved us all.
John 6:9,11 – "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" 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. (NIV)
Jesus and His disciples were in a situation where there was no food, faced with a crowd of what may have been up to twenty thousand, counting women and children. There was no nearby convenience store or chip truck — and no money, either. There was just a boy who had five loaves and two fish.
That was likely a substantial lunch for a boy, even though the fish were probably the size of sardines, and the loaves as small as crackers. The boy willingly and generously handed it over, even though it was his whole lunch. What a sacrifice for a little boy!
Whatever we give to Jesus becomes valuable. With just a couple of fish, He fed thousands of people with twelve baskets left over. Jesus does things that we can barely imagine. He uses what we offer Him. He can multiply it. He blesses others — and us as well.
He uses us. When Jesus asks us to surrender something of great worth to us, we shouldn't hold back, but put ourselves in His hands. Is He worth it? In His eyes, we are so valuable that He died for us. He gave us His all. How else can we show our gratitude?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, everything that we have is Yours. Help us to trust You with it all. We are confident that You will provide for us, and bless others through our offering. Amen.