June 10

The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.  I Kings 17:16 

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, [Jesus] gave thanks and broke the loaves. The he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. Mark 6:41-42 NIV

Our verses today deal with God supplying what is needed. In both situations it appeared that there was nowhere near enough food. In I Kings 17, we read of a drought all over the land. Elijah has been sent to an area with water and ravens to feed him, but the water dries up. God tells him to go to a place where a widow lives who will give him water. He gets there, asks for water and a little bread. She will go get the water but for food there is only enough flour and oil for one more meal; she and her son will eat that and then die. Elijah tells her to use that to make a small meal for him, and then make something for her and her son. She does as he asks, and we have verse 16: the jar of meal was not emptied, and there was always oil. She and her son were provided for as long as the drought lasted.

Jesus feeding the 5,000 is a familiar story. So important that it is related in all 4 gospels. Jesus takes the contribution of one person, and, after giving thanks, breaks the bread and has it distributed. Truly a miracle to feed so many from what seemed like so little. Maybe that inspired others to take out food they had brought and share with others which would also be a miracle. I think Jesus might have been around here these past two weeks. A school asked for 87 bags of food supplies with a specific list of needs; they received 20,000. Cars were lined up for 14 blocks by one estimate to donate food and baby supplies and paper products.

There is an abundance of things in this world that God created and filled with supplies for us. We are to be good stewards of this earth. Unfortunately, products are not always evenly distributed. Many have more than enough, and maybe too much. I read that some rent storage units and just fill them with the extra stuff that they never actually use. Others don’t have enough. Kids that don’t have three nourishing meals a day. Not enough money for safe housing, or clean clothes that fit. Parents in need of diapers and other baby supplies while others have enough to waste.

For the widow and her son, they were near death. For the crowd, there would have been thousands of hungry people. Yet God was able to make bounty appear from nothing. Often we feel that all we have to contribute is such a small amount that it won’t make any difference. Yet we can all do something; we can start by listening. Listen to what the needs are. Meet those needs we can and join with others to do more. Thank God for all He has given us and ask for His help in sharing.

Thank you, heavenly Father, for a bountiful world. Thank you for providing meal and oil for the widow, and multiplying the fish and bread for the crowds. Save us from times of worry when we lose sight of your faithful provision to your people. Use us to feed the hungry and clothe the poor in this world. God our provider, our hearts praise and sing with gratitude for your merciful provision in our depths of need. Hallelujah, praise the Lord, for his excellent greatness! In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen

Chris Gabel