...[Andrew said to Jesus] “There is a lad here, who has five barley loaves, and two fish; but what are these for so many people?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about 5,000. Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.” And so they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left by those who had eaten. John 6:9-13
As I sat through a class on parenting, one of the speaker’s points really caught my attention and has stuck with me through all my years as a mom. He said, “Nothing you do for a child is wasted.”
In reading the “loaves and fishes” story, isn’t this just like our Lord Jesus? He knew the people were tired from following Him around and standing for hours on end, so He provided a soft, grassy place to sit and relax. He also knew they were hungry, and wanted to feed them. He was able to take those five loaves and two fish and feed 5,000 men. After His giving of thanks, He was able to stretch that meager meal into enough food to fill everybody up, with basketfuls left over. But He did not let the leftovers go to waste--He had the disciples gather up what was not eaten. Twelve baskets full were left, from what wouldn’t even cover the bottom of one basket! Jesus was (and still is) extravagant in His giving, but He’s never wasteful.
Yes, our God is extravagant. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” And we are reassured in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things [food, clothing, life] shall be added to you.” Extravagant, yes. Wasteful, no. Nothing He does for His children is wasted.
Father, thank You for Your extravagance, for the innumerable blessings You shower us with day after day. And we really don’t deserve a single one of them. Yet You love us, and through the shed blood of Your Son You see us as perfect. Help us to recognize and appreciate what You have done for us, and what You continue to do. Thank You for meeting our needs. We love You and want to bring You glory, for You alone are worthy. We pray in the Name of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.