Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be in the crowd the day Jesus fed the 5,000?
As your hungry belly reminds you that lunchtime has come and gone, your heart will not let you leave the presence of the man who speaks with an authority you can’t explain. You see a small boy approach Jesus. The crowd is so large that you have to crane your neck around the other onlookers, to see what Jesus is doing. You can’t hear what the disciples are whispering about, but they look confused. As you try to decipher their expressions, you hear Jesus cry out in a loud voice His thanksgiving to the Father. You see Him raise His arms toward heaven. In them, the little boy’s lunch. The crowd begins to murmur, the scene suddenly chaotic. Why? What has happened? The disciples stand, faces transfixed on Jesus. Their expressions a mix of fear, shock and excitement. The crowd begins moving forward. The disciples shake their heads, as if coming out of a fog. Something is being passed. Is it a basket? Yes. Some kind of large basket is making its way back to you. You see people reaching in and taking something out. What? Your stomach surges with the realization that it is food. Food! The sweet smell of bread mingles with the salty smell of fish. People greedily take what is offered. The basket is passed, and passed and passed. Hands pulling out all of its glorious contents. Your heart drops. There won’t be any left. Too many hands have taken from the basket. Your stomach tightens, hunger wraps around your belly. As always, you are too late, too far, too….passed over. As if taunting you, the basket continues its journey back through the crowd. You can no longer bring yourself to watch as the last pieces are taken. Where did the food come from? And will more ever come? With your gaze fixed on the grass beneath your feet, the basket is placed in your hands. Tempted to just pass the empty vessel to the next unfortunate soul, you decide to peak inside in hopes a crumb remains. You thrust your hand in, intending to scrape from the bottom. Yet your hand is stopped. Something is blocking the opening. Your hand opens, it touches… bread. You close your fist around the loaf. Your free hand takes another. The basket is taken from you, continuing it’s journey. Your mind is swirling with questions, just as another basket makes its way to you. With two loaves in one hand, you thrust your free one into this other basket. Fish. The basket is held for you as it travels. You quickly withdraw a few fish. Your hands now full, your mind reeling. How did that just happen? You saw the baskets. You saw people taking from them. They should have been empty. You should still be hungry. Yet, as you take bite after bite, you are full. Both stomach and soul. How? The question whispers through your mind the rest of the day. How? How?? As the sun makes its descendent toward the horizon, the crowd disperses. Open space now dots the once packed mountainside. You turn to face the water, still trying to process the abundance. Your gaze catches His. Jesus stands looking at you. A knowing smile on his lips. As if He somehow speaks the words without moving His mouth, you hear the phrase, “With God all things are possible.” They were words you have heard Him speak before. Beautiful words. Powerful words. But now they are more…the words became bread, they became fish, they became…..Him.
Over the past month and a half, I have experienced God’s provision of abundance in ways I can hardly comprehend. He has provided words to a story in six weeks, that I had previously worked on for 4 years! When He called me to Start Over I couldn’t see it. Couldn’t imagine it. There’s no way Lord. There won’t be enough time. There won’t be enough words. There just won’t be enough….
But God knew. And He patiently and overwhelmingly showed me that He is more than enough. Yesterday I completed the content for my manuscript. According to my previous calculations (and going faster than I thought I even could) I should have been done in two more weeks.
But God’s timing is not ours and He knew. He knew what He had in store. I did not. Seeing Him work. Experiencing the multiplying of time, the outpouring of words, the “enough” of Jesus, has been life altering.
And just because He is God and He is all about abundance my final word count was 75,075. (although it will certainly change as the editing process begins.)
Being a bit of a nerd when it comes to the Biblical significance of things like numbers, I found myself looking up the significance of the numbers 7 and 5 (you know since there’s two of each in that number!)
7 means complete and 5….well, it’s the number for grace.
So as I typed the words the end –
It was as if God spoke the words, “Complete Grace.”
I long to share with you over the next few weeks and months more about the book, the story behind the book and all the ways I have seen God’s hand in this process, but for now I just wanted to publicly acknowledge and praise the God of abundance who graces us with far more than we could ever ask for or possibly imagine!!!!