This morning my son came into my bedroom as I was spending time with the Lord. When he came in I began to read him a story out of the book of John. When I read him the stories I love to add my own comments on the background of the storyline and help him to imagine what happened in those moments. I’ve noticed that each time I do this with my son it actually opens up even my own ability to read the Word. So many times I find that I simply read from beginning to end of the chapter in the Gospels and take very little time to actually think about the fact that these recorded gospels were very real situations that happened over 2000 years ago.
This morning I read out of John 6 where Jesus feeds the 5000 with the loaves and fish. As I read the story to my son Landon and elaborated on the storyline to help him understand I found myself captivated by the this story. I mean, really think about it for a minute… A man pulls out 5 loaves and it ends up feeding a multitude of people with a bunch leftover. I’ve always wondered how it literally happened and if like new loaves just appeared out of thin air or something. The account of John really leaves it up to your imagination and just sticks with the fact that it happened and everyone was so blown away afterwards that they wanted to take Jesus by force to become their king.
One thing the Lord showed me this morning as I read this story to my son is the significance of him saying thanks for the bread and fish before he dispersed it among the crowd. This morning I had been asking my son before we began to read the story to say some things he was thankful for and he resisted with everything. He did not want to have to endure the mental process of trying to think of even just a few of the things he had to be thankful for. He (my son) reminds me of myself so many days when I always have so much to be thankful for but just frankly don’t want to force myself to think that way. Sometimes it’s easier to stay where we are at rather than stepping outside of our comfort zone and thanking God especially when things are hard.
When Jesus had all these people in front of Him he was not exactly in the easiest of circumstances. He had 5000+ hungry people and enough food for maybe 1 or 2 of them. Even though it wasn’t enough in that moment he demonstrated to all of those people and to us the power of thanksgiving. When he said thanks to our Father in heaven it opened up the possibilities for this sign and wonder to take place. His act of thanking God even when it didn’t make much sense created room for the abundance of Heaven to invade earth. I believe that this act of thanksgiving was what set into action this mighty miracle. In our own lives God is calling each of us to live a life of thanksgiving to Him because He knows that it opens up our lives to receive all the abundance he wants to bless us with. This isn’t an act of manipulating God to get what we want. When we offer God this true thanksgiving that comes from deep within our hearts it opens up the possibility for the impossible to become possible so that He can be glorified.
The last thing I noticed from this story was how Jesus snuck away from the crowd when the wanted to make him king. For many of us this moment might seem like the pinnacle of our life. He had finally arrived in the eyes of the world and yet he snuck away to be alone with his Father. He placed a higher value on intimacy with His Father in heaven than success on the earth. We can gain all the attention, all the success (even in ministry or family) and still end up so empty and hollow. What Jesus knew is that He did not come to be served but rather to serve. His primary focus was to love His father and be obedient to Him, even unto death. Sometimes what we deem as success may really just be another thing drawing us away from the time up on the mountain, alone with our Father in Heaven, which is truly what we need. My hope is that as I continue to grow closer to Jesus that I will become more and more like Him. My hope is that if I were ever faced with a circumstance of great fame, power or prestige that I knew was outside of God’s will that I would also sneak away and just get alone with my Father.