"They ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full."
Over and over again throughout our Gospels, we find Jesus transforming scarcity into abundance. Many of those times, the abundance shows itself through food and nourishment. The feeding of five thousand and feeding of four thousand are mysterious and miraculous, to be sure. The transformation of scarcity into abundance over and over again creates a lesson for us as followers of Christ.
Before anything is transformed, the disciples panic. Isn’t that true of us? We recognize the scarcity and panic, attempting to fix the situation through every means we know possible. The disciples often get trapped by their scarcity mindset and begin panicking because of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. In this text, we see the panic set in when they realize they have seven loaves and a few small fish to feed four thousand people.
Do you think the four thousand gathered there were expecting to be fed? Do you think they knew about the shortage of food? Probably not. This miracle that Jesus performs is incredible in the way it provides food for thousands who have been in the desert learning for three days. But it is even more incredible in the way it begins to transform the disciples from a mindset centered on scarcity to a mindset centered on the abundance God offers. The disciples simply have to let go of control and self-reliance. When we let go of control and self-reliance, our minds can be transformed from our lack to God’s abundance.
As we continue on our Lenten journey to celebrate new life on Easter, we must reflect on the ways our tendencies for control and self-reliance have led us to panic over scarcity. Where have you missed finding God’s abundance because you were too focused on the scarcity at hand? Where do you need God to show you abundance?
Loving God, it is through you that our hearts and minds can be transformed. We are ever grateful that you provide us with abundance, whether it be literal in food and provisions or simply the abundance of your self, seen in Jesus the Christ. We pray that you would continue to search our hearts. Take our self-reliance and control and transform it as we learn to see your abundance. Amen.