There are things happening in your life right now that you don’t understand. Things you can’t control. However, there are clues all around you to remind you of who is in control. Reminders of how you’ve always been taken care of. Leftovers of what has happened for you before.
What leftovers do you have? Leftovers of the last miracle God pulled off for you. Leftovers of the last ridiculous blessing you didn’t deserve. Leftovers of provision that was more than enough. Those leftovers are for a purpose, and perhaps it’s a purpose that is perfectly timed for what is happening right now.
The Bible tells us a story about leftovers. A story of abundance that proved Jesus’ power over impossible odds. But before there were leftovers, there was a need with an grossly insufficient supply. Of course the story is the feeding of the crowd, but this story goes beyond the feeding. This story goes directly to your boat today to meet you where you are and remind you of what God has done.
5,000 men, plus women and children had gathered to hear Jesus teach. They had stayed all day to listen to his every word, and they grew hungry. The only food available in the crowd was carried by a young boy, a measly 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. For thousands of people, this would be nothing more than a crumb for each, but in the hands of Jesus it would become more than enough.
Jesus fed every person there all they could eat from the bread and fish that never ran out. Afterwards, he told the disciples to gather the leftovers. Yes, the leftovers were important. 12 baskets full of leftovers. This is significant. The leftovers mattered. Proof of miraculous provision. Evidence of God’s power in personal matters.
What would these leftovers become? They show up one more time in scripture and I believe it’s just for you and I to see today.
After the feeding of the crowd, and the gathering of the leftovers, Jesus instructs his disciples to get on a boat and leave. Later that night they find themselves in a battle with the winds blowing against them. Jesus comes walking out on the water to them and scares the bejesus out of them. You know the bejesus … have you ever had the bejesus scared out of you? You see something and you’re like “oh, be Jesus, be Jesus, please be Jesus.” The “be Jesus” came right out of you. Well, the disciples thought he was a ghost on the water and the bejesus is scared out of them, and then they realize it actually IS JESUS.
Peter has a moment of bold courage and walks on the water with Jesus, then the waves come and he starts to sink, Jesus saves him, then Jesus gets in the boat and the waters calm down. Awesome, good story. But there’s one more thing. One more thing only mentioned in Mark’s account of this evening on the water … the leftovers.
Mark 6: 50-52 “Immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”
They had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. Oh wait, now we’re back to what had happened before Jesus came walking on the water, before the wild winds, before the boat. We’re back to the last thing Jesus had done for them. Not only had Jesus miraculously fed them, but he had invited them to be part of sharing the miracle with the crowd of thousands. They were there. They saw what started as only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. They saw how many people ate. And they personally collected 12 baskets full of leftovers.
And my guess is, on that boat with them where they are now struggling and afraid, sit the leftovers. How many baskets? 12. That’s one basket of leftovers for each disciple. Their own basket that contained proof of His power, his provision, and his personal care. They were supposed to understand the lesson and carry it with them into the next struggle, but their hearts were hardened and they did not understand.
They didn’t understand God is always with them. They didn’t understand his power is unmatched. They didn’t understand he is master over all. They didn’t understand his care is personally for them. So now, on the boat in the dark with a wind of resistance, they struggle and forget what they already have. They didn’t understand.
And maybe you don’t either. You’re waking up to your own basket full of leftovers. Leftovers that prove God has been faithful. Leftovers that serve as reminders of all he has done to carry you through and bring you here. But you’re so focused on the wind blowing against you and the struggle to move forward that you’ve forgotten what God has already done for you.
The lesson is, if God took care of you before, sister he will take care of you again. If he brought you through the last thing, he will bring you through this thing. If he fed you last night, he will guide you through today’s storms.
In the boat with the disciples was proof of what Jesus had just done. More leftovers than what they began with before feeding thousands of people. That’s impossible! They had impossible in the boat with them!
You have impossible in the house with you girl! Truly. Impossible things have happened for you. All around you are leftovers of the Father’s extravagant love in the form of miraculous provision, unlikely breakthroughs, insane strength, unspeakable peace, and simply things that worked that probably shouldn’t have worked. Always remember these things. Carry these leftovers with you, you’re going to need them when the winds of resistance hit and your efforts aren’t as productive.
The disciples were amazed when Jesus walked on the water. They were amazed when he got in their boat and made the winds die down. But they shouldn’t have been amazed. They should have known Jesus was a water walker. They should have known he was a way maker. They should have known because they had just seen him feed all those people, and they had just gathered more leftover food than there was to begin with. They had proof of who he was in the leftovers, but their hearts were hardened and they didn’t allow that truth to get inside them.
Maybe your heart has been hardened and you have dismissed what God has already done for you. You dismissed it as insignificant like it didn’t really matter. Or you labeled it as good luck like with the stars finally aligning for you. Or you’ve assumed you’re just that good on your own and you’ve been making this stuff happen. Oh goodness, Lord forgive us. Our hearts have been hardened.
May we see the leftovers we wake up to for what they really are … proof of God’s goodness and evidence of his power. May we take our leftovers of what Jesus did for us last time and boldly face the storms of today without fear. May we step into today knowing God is for us, he is with us, and what he has done before he will do again! Gather your leftovers and remember what he has done for you!