Our Provision

Opening Prayer: 

Lord, help us to use this time with You to get a truer vision of Your limitlessness.  Help us to better appreciate You as all loving, all powerful and completely competent to meet all our needs according to Your riches in glory.   Amen

 

Read John 6:5-10, NIV

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, 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).

 

Reflect: 

This is one of the most familiar stories in the Gospels.  On two occasions Jesus fed a multitude of people with a little bread and a few fish.  This was only possible if the food was multiplied many times over.  It was a miracle!  It was a breaking of the curse God decreed on Adam: that we would only eat by laboring to plant and then to harvest.  It was also a foreshadowing of the time in Revelation when people would partake of the water of life without cost.  This point is emphasized by Philip when he says it would take half a year’s wages to provide everyone with only a bite.  He saw all the labor that would be required to earn such a provision.

 

Apply: 

Over the years all of us have done our share of labor.  We all want the needs of our families to be met and set about to fulfill our responsibility.  However, none of us can really be a reliable source for our family’s needs.  An accident, failed health, lost work: there are so many ways our efforts can be sidetracked.  If we want to live the carefree life that Jesus promised us, we must come to see Jesus as our provider.  We must see ourselves as an instrument of His provision. 

In about 1951, I was a toddler living with my parents and brother in Jacksonville, FL.  Years later they told us about a time when my dad had been laid off from his job.  My mother had just survived a miscarriage with twin boys. There were no social services then.  They were from Connecticut had come to Jacksonville in search of work.   Mom was very good at crafts.  She had some pieces of wood and craft supplies that they made into jewelry and jewelry boxes.  One Saturday we walked down to a local village and tried to sell them on the sidewalk in front of a local store.  They had no sales that day.  At home we had some bread, butter and mustard; we were about out of food.  My folks prayed that God would help them get some food for the weekend.  We walked the mile or so back to our street.  They went to the mail box at the head of our street and found a card from my mother’s sister back in Connecticut.  She had put five dollars in the card and said that she wanted to send the money because if the babies had lived, she would have sent a shower gift.  My Aunt Myra did not know that my father had been laid off.  That five dollars would be worth about fifty today.  Without even going home, we went back to the village and bought some food.  Soon after this, my father was called back to his job.  This story has been a testimony to our family over the years about the faithfulness of God as our provider.  It has left us knowing that God can provide for us in unexpected ways.

 

Closing Prayer:

God, you are so wonderful.  Help us to always depend on You for all our needs.  There is nothing sweeter than the image of us as Your little lambs, being cared for by the Good Shepherd who loves His sheep.

 

 

Terry Schneider