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Leftovers From the Miracle – Paula Hill

Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. . . . Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid” (John 6:13, 16-20). Recently, God performed an awesome miracle in our family—something we had been praying about for years. Answered prayer makes your heart swell with faith, like a balloon being filled with water to the point of bursting because it’s so full. After the blessing of such a miracle, you’d think my faith would remain at a high level. Yet, only a few days later another need arose, and it was a circumstance that filled me with anxiety and fear over the possible outcome. I dwelt on it for several days with a gnawing dread about the future. I still believed God, but my humanity kept getting between me and faith. Doubt just seemed to keep flashing big yellow caution lights in front of me. Have you ever found yourself there? I’d say everyone reading this has been in that same place more than once. In fact, probably more often than can be counted, if you’re like me. After a few days of dealing with this, I was reading my Bible during my morning devotions. I read John 6 for the millionth time (at least, that’s what it seemed like to me). But I was suddenly aware GRACE NOTES 57 of the connection between the miracles of feeding the five thousand and Jesus walking on the water. Something occurred to me, not an original thought, just something I had heard someone else say that the Holy Spirit reminded me of. When the disciples gathered up the twelve baskets of leftover barley loaves, they likely got to keep some leftovers for themselves. I don’t know what they did with it, the Bible doesn’t say. But it stands to reason they knew hunger would creep in on them again by nightfall. So when evening came and the disciples got into the boat to go to Capernaum, a great wind began to blow and they became fearful. But think about this, how possible was it that sitting at their feet in that boat was a basketful of bread? A leftover miracle, of great proportions nonetheless, that had been performed in their presence just hours before. They had seen it, been a part of it, and participated in the distribution of the miraculous multiplication of the two fish and the five barley loaves. Yet, they became fearful when caught in a scary situation, because they did not remember the miracle sitting right at their feet.

Paula Hill

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