As the shadows lengthened and the sun began to hide itself behind the distant edges of the lake, the crowd lingered on its shore. They had been there for some time listening to the wise words of Jesus. Surely they were growing hungry and the opportunity to get food was some distance away. Andrew, one of the disciples, spotted a young boy with a small lunch (only five small barley loaves and two fish). How far would such a meager amount go among so many?

Jesus instructed his disciples to have the crowd sit down. He took the small loaves of bread and the fish, gave thanks for what He had, broke the bread and made a banquet. Bread and fish in abundance! The blessing came after the loaves were broken.

The world is filled with brokenness: broken homes, broken lives, shattered dreams, and broken health. Sometimes we must be broken to meet our full potential in kingdom service. We don't like to think of experiencing great difficulties to help us grow spiritually. There are indeed great blessings in following the statutes that have been laid down for us, but we must realize that often the greatest blessings come on the other side of brokenness.

We might feel that there are so many scattered pieces and fragments of our lives that we could not be "put back together." Just as the left over pieces of bread and fish were gathered up, so can we be gathered up and not wasted.

"Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted" (John 6:12b).

We can trust God to gather us up into His loving arms and put us back together
As we encounter the blessings that we receive, even through brokenness and suffering, we can trust God to gather us up into His loving arms and put us back together.

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