When All You Have Is Not Enough
And taking the five loaves and the two fish he [Jesus] looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied." Mark 6:41-42 (ESV)
I couldn’t avoid it any longer. After distracting myself for hours — washing clothes, emptying the dishwasher and checking emails for the fourth time — I finally had to face the beast.
Pulling out the thick folder that bulged with utility bills, a mortgage notice and credit card statements, I reached for my tiny checkbook and released a heavy sigh from the pit of my stomach.
Tallying the numbers as I held my breath only confirmed what I already knew: too many bills and not enough money.
The small amount felt like tiny crumbs waiting to be devoured by the multitudes.
My husband and I never anticipated a downward-spiraling economy, which happened right after we started our business 10 years ago. When our clients suddenly stopped paying for the services we provided, it launched us into a season of not-enough, which lasted longer and proved more difficult than we ever imaged.
As funds dwindled, so did my faith, and I began wondering about my family’s not-enough crisis … Would there be enough to go around? Would the little we had left stretch to meet our obligations? Would God come through in this situation and provide what we needed?
As I think back on that difficult time, I wonder how the disciples felt, the day the multitudes came to hear Jesus speak. Mark 6 recounts what is known as "The Feeding of the Five Thousand."
These people desperately wanted what Jesus could offer them: hope, healing and promises of the kingdom of heaven. What I love most is that Scripture tells us Jesus had compassion on them:
"When he [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things" (Mark 6:34, NIV).
But by the end of the day the disciples were faced with an unanticipated problem. They told Jesus, "This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat" (Mark 6:35b-36, ESV).
With the Sea of Galilee behind them and a sea of people facing them, the disciples were ready to wrap things up and go home. It had been a long day of managing the multitudes and I imagine they were starting to feel weary and overwhelmed. But not Jesus …
After filling the souls of thousands with the spiritual food of the Word of God, Jesus wanted to fill their bellies with actual food.
He told the disciples, "You give them something to eat" (Mark 6:37, ESV). But a quick tally revealed only five loaves of bread and two fish. As the people began to rumble with empty stomachs, the disciples were suddenly faced with their own not-enough crisis.
How would they have enough? Would Jesus help them and provide?
Maybe today you’re facing a not-enough crisis that has you feeling anxious, weary or overwhelmed.
-- Too many bills and not enough money in the bank.
-- Too many doctor’s appointments and not enough definitive answers.
-- Too many interviews and not enough job offers.
-- Too many demands and not enough solutions.
In today’s key verse, we see how Jesus took the disciples’ not-enough crisis and made it more than enough as He held up the loaves and fish to heaven, giving thanks to God the Father and blessing it.
Jesus’ multiplication powers produced plenty of leftovers and everyone was satisfied.
Did you see that? Not just a few — "they all ate and were satisfied."
In the case of our family’s personal finances, God miraculously stretched what little we had to pay our bills so our debts were all satisfied. Although we couldn’t see it at the time, God was multiplying our less to provide miraculously more.
Is your not-enough situation giving you an empty rumbling of doubt and discouragement? Why not hold what you have up to Heaven? Trust God for His multiplication powers. And ask Jesus to bless it according to His will.
God’s love is excessive and His grace multiplies. God’s provisions are abundant and His compassion toward you is endless.
In God’s hands, our not-enough can become plenty, with leftovers, so that we can be spiritually satisfied and physically provided for by Him in miraculous ways.
Heavenly Father, help me entrust my not-enough to You not just today, but every day. Thank You for promising to meet all my needs according to Your riches in glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:19, "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (ESV)
Psalm 90:14, "Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives." (NLT)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When was the last time you faced a not-enough crisis? Were you able to turn it over to God and trust Him for provision? Did it cause your faith to wane and leave room for doubt to set in?
How has today’s devotion changed your perspective and prepared you for the next time a not-enough moment shows up in your life?