This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Yang Zhang (Chinese, a fiery evangelist from China writing under a pseudonym for his protection), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" (John 6:9)
This wonderful miracle tells us that God can do much with little.
If we give Him what we have, He can perform miracles. The boy could have kept the little that he had. But he gave it to Jesus. That act of obedience fed 5,000 people.
We never need to complain about the little that we have. Our Lord can use it and feed the people around us.
A Chinese friend told me one day: 'Our eyes, nose, ears, mouth and heart are like five loaves. Our two hands are like two fishes. And with our two legs we go and meet the needs of the people around us.'
Let us give our body and our heart into the hands of the Lord and thus become an instrument in God's service, saving many hungry people.
A moment of introspection: The word is out: 55 people die each second, and many of these die hungry--bereft of being touched by God's plan of salvation. That not all 55 persons die hungry is truly a miracle--according to Mr. Zhang. A gift given by a boy becomes a feast for 5,000 hungry people distributed by 12 ordinary persons. Our moment of introspection and personalization picks up, then, when the loaves and fishes are being multiplied and distributed.
The miracle occurred, and went further, and transpires yet today. Someone finds the time, someone has the heart, someone makes the effort to share the miracle of the Good News with hungry people. Today, is that someone you or me? Did we see the need and fill the need of another for the life-giving sustenance of salvation through Jesus Christ? Our writer for this moment describes five loaves to show how we take part in the miracle of providing the Good News, and offering such life-giving first aid to those the Holy Bible declares as living "in darkness". Isaiah 58:10-11 tells us, using the same metaphor, that "… if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday. 11 And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not." And the Bible also says in Deuteronomy 8:3 that "He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." Jesus Christ Himself quoted this Scripture in refuting the Devil during His own temptation. Did God not, in our own lives, first humble us by letting us hunger spiritually for God's Word and for eternal life with Him? Then did He not feed us with spiritual manna, satisfying our spiritual hunger and thirst--via salvation? And now, in turn, Isaiah 58:10 tells us that "...if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday." Do we willfully or neglectfully starve our unsaved neighbor from receiving food for eternal life--that saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and of the Father in heaven?
Do we consider ourselves "private" persons, who believe that light looks best if hidden beneath a bushel? Do we believe that the Truth we know will spread Itself without our eyes, nose, ears, mouth and heart, and our two hands, and our two legs? God blessed the food on that first hillside, but left it to persons like you and me to carry His multiplied resource to those hungry and in need of it. Friends, this is a miracle in the making: to share the Truth with those whose lives are spiritually hungry. And we can play a big part in giving our body and our heart into the hands of the Lord and thus become an instrument in God's service, saving many hungry people--bringing our world to Christ. We do not want to wait until we are persecuted as Christians, before we begin uncovering the Light of Christ within us in an ever-spiritually-darkening world.