They all ate and were satisfied, and what was left over was picked up—twelve baskets of broken pieces. Luke 9:17
Decades ago I experienced a severe ankle break. My Christian friends and I prayed for instant healing based on conviction that Jesus still does miracles today. As my ankle slowly healed, I tried to understand God’s wisdom in withholding a miracle. I finally rejoiced that God created my body with an amazing capacity to heal.
In recent years I’ve experienced increasing pain resulting from that injury. I’ve consulted several surgeons in pursuing a remedy. During the past six months I’ve disappointed myself by engaging in uncertainty, confusion, and fear before deciding to undergo ankle replacement surgery. Why did I waver and leave myself open to intense daily pain? Aaugh!
You’re likely wondering, how does a struggle like mine relate to the leftovers in Luke 9? Mark 8:14-21 seems to give an answer:
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
They answered, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
Whoa! Understand? Remember? Sometimes I’m so dense.
Understand: Setting my mind on Jesus daily is vital…I can never be too grateful for his unparalleled sacrifice resulting in forgiveness and blessing. How can I doubt he cares for my welfare and will do more than I ask or imagine?
Remember: His timing and provision have always been perfect. Is there reason to doubt his consistency in my present struggle? He provides for all my needs and more – plus strength to resist anxiety.
Jesus provides abundantly for those who love him including leftovers to share. Are you wrestling with disappointment, a situation that needs fixing, or a problem that seems too much for you? Read Mark 8:14-21 again and thank Jesus for his incredible provision.
By Kathleen Petersen