Most of us know the incredible story of the loaves and fishes, as found in the Bible (Matt. 14:15-21). This Scripture tells us that Jesus, faced with a hungry horde that had come to hear him speak, managed to feed the 5000-plus people around him with just five loaves of bread and two fishes. Not only that, after everyone had eaten, the disciples went around and collected 12 baskets of food, fragments of the meal that no one could finish.
The loaves and fishes is a beautiful story describing one of Jesus’ many miracles that we can take literally. But we can also look closer into this miracle, if we choose, to see how the example of loaves and fishes might pertain to our everyday lives. To me this story points out the fact that we can always rely on God’s abundance, even in the most severe circumstances. Praying with absolute faith in God, we can be sure that He will take care of our needs, even if we ourselves can’t see any solution to our problem.
These days many people are finding themselves in financial difficulties, including those who thought they’d never be in such straits. My favorite cousin faced this situation recently. She was “downsized” from her job at a public relations firm—even though she’d been with the company over five years and had an exemplary record. Overwhelmed by mounting expenses, my cousin was having a tough time managing her life, despite unemployment compensation. The worst of it was she couldn’t seem to find another job.
I wanted to help but I didn’t think I could do much—I had my own family to think about and we’re not rich! For several days I debated over different ways to assist my cousin. Finally, praying fervently, I was led to send her a substantial amount of money. I loved my cousin and that was reason enough to be generous.
The day after I sent my cousin the money, I had my own “miracle of loaves and fishes”. Checking my back balance I was amazed to find a direct deposit from the IRS—in the letter that followed I was told I’d miscalculated my taxes, and was receiving an additional refund. Coincidentally, the refund was about the same amount as I’d sent my cousin—that and a little bit more.
This was not the first time I’d experienced a financial “healing” of sorts—bills being paid at the last minute from unexpected sources, or money turning up that I didn’t know I had. God never leaves us empty handed. If we love God with all our heart, and pray sincerely for help, we can expect to be fed, with some left over. The miracle of the loaves and fishes is not just a miracle, but a sure sign from God that He will always meet our needs—and then some.
The Holy Bible, King James Version, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press