Break Through Unthankfulness: Thank God for 5 Loaves and 2 Fish

Thursday, November 26, 2015

And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.” (Matthew 14:19)

‘Tis the season to be jolly, holly, hopeful, and joyful, but have you allowed life's disappointments to turn your happy into crappy?

Maybe you are with family today and there is laughter and sharing of stories and good food, and you find yourself in a place of comfort and love.

Maybe you are with family today and there is laughter and sharing of stories and good food, but you are not feeling connected.

Maybe you are home alone and decided not to gather with family, your church community, or friends because you can’t get over the fact that your grandmother won’t be there since she has passed on and things won’t be the same.

Maybe you were laid off.

Maybe you are taking care of children as a single mother and these situations leave you asking, "God, why?"

You're disappointed. You're angry. You're sad. You’re upset.
But it’s Thanksgiving …

The day that you’re “supposed” to act like you’re not going through anything and share gratitude nuggets with family and friends. Sounds simple, right?

Having disappointments are a normal part of life, not something to treat nonchalantly as if they’re not there. Jesus experienced many disappointments: of not being received by his own family and hometown, of not being acknowledged as the Son of God, of friends turning their backs on Him, of having to go to the cross. Yet, in all this, Jesus remained joyful and thankful!

Today, as you’re surrounded by thankfulness and glee, we don’t want to minimize the fact that you may be experiencing disappointments. Nor do we want those who are not currently facing hardship to feel in any way discouraged because we’re talking about this. We do, however, want to encourage you to find thankfulness in the midst of whatever you go through so that your heart can find hope, healing, and purpose. The Bible miracle of the 5 loaves and 2 fish comes to mind as we think about being thankful.

The crowds of over 5000 had been with Jesus all day and were beginning to be hungry. Instead of going to the marketplace, Jesus commanded His disciples to search among the people to see if there was any food. When 5 loaves and 2 fish were brought to Jesus, “he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitude.”


When you’re faced with disappointment, do you give thanks? Jesus saw a need and before passing out a blessing, He looked up to the heavens and gave thanks to the Father. He began blessing God instead of stressing the situation. There is no problem that deserves more time and attention than what we must give to God in thanksgiving! 


The 5000+ who were fed, were lined up quietly and orderly and a blessing was distributed to them. They may have been spiritually broken, but they received their blessing when they got in line. They may have been financially broken, but they were richly blessed in Jesus' presence. What’s broken in you, better yet, what needs to be broken so that you can humbly receive a gift from God? God can begin working in your life when you calm down, get quiet, and line yourself up with His word.


The disciples understood that they had the responsibility of carrying the blessing to the people. They didn’t break the bread and slice up the fish; they took the blessing to people after Jesus gave it to them.  Can you imagine what would have happened if the disciples took it upon themselves to cut up the food for the people? We often mess up when we try to do God's job for Him. We should get our instruction, approval, and guidance from God before trying to distribute it to others. Let God work the miracle in your life; you just carry it to the multitude via testimony or teaching.


Today, as you sift through any scarcity or disappointments in your life, for what could you give thanks? What needs to be broken in you so that God can work a miracle? Is someone trying to pass along a message from God, but you’re refusing to take it? Our blessings come when our hearts receive with gladness a miracle straight from the hands of Jesus.

This story is not about how many people God fed, but that God simply fed people. It’s no coincidence that when we gather today, one purpose will be to eat. Let's not forget our overall purpose: to give and share thankfulness. Regardless of what your life looks like right now, dig deep inside and share your reason for why you’re thankful; we know God will send down a miracle that your hands can’t turn away!

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