Overwhelmed with the daily tasks of being a mom to 3 daughters, a wife, holding down a 9 to 5 job (the night shift), keeping up with laundry, meals and extra activities, I was just exhausted. My husband traveled for work and the regular, mundane responsibilities were taking its toll. Did God care? Was He concerned about something as trivial as my day-to-day routine? Then one day, I read something that changed my perspective forever.
Many of us are familiar with the bible story where Jesus fed more than 5000 people. Scholars believe the total number exceeded 15,000 including women and children. The story is taught in Sunday school, bible study groups, and pulpits all over the world and the narrative is found in all of the gospels including: Matthew 14:14 -21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:5-13.
Jesus and the disciples had traveled to the outskirts of Bethsaida, a remote place to rest. Nonetheless, when Jesus saw the hundreds of families that followed Him; He put aside His need for relaxation, taught them and healed those who were sick. Then Jesus instructed his disciples to find food, “Give them something to eat,” he said. The disciples found a young lad with five small barley loaves and 2 salted sardines. Jesus prayed over the food, broke it in pieces and asked the 12 men to serve the food to the groups seated on the lush carpet of green grass. When everyone had eaten their fill, the disciples were instructed to pick up the leftovers.
Jesus cooked, the 12 disciples served, and the women didn’t have to clean up after!
I had fallen deep in the Martha syndrome (Luke 10:38-42), “I have no help! Woe is me. Jesus do you not care!” I was just so bent-out-of-shape about all the work that needed to get done. But the scriptures about the two fish and five loaves spoke loud and clear and I had a new viewpoint: Jesus cooked, the disciples served, and the women didn’t have to clean up after! Right then it seemed as if the weight of all my worries lifted. Just seeing it that way brought tremendous relief.
When I saw Jesus and his disciples serving as they did, I instantly knew that I did not have to take on so much. I had new insight on how Jesus felt about me, my role as a wife, mother, and all the tasks I needed to do in the course of a day. And that, yes, I could take a break and be served too.
Jesus’ teachings and His ways transcended those of His time. He was not confined to culture, or operating in a form or fashion that was conducive or appealing to those of that day. Jesus knew that the people had a bit of a trek back home and was concerned that someone might faint on the way. Notice too, that there were towns nearby where they could purchase food on the way home. However, that was not the solution on this day.
This particular young boy’s mom, most likely was not the only one who had prepared and packed a lunch for her family. But the people had been with Jesus all day and whatever they had brought with them was now consumed except for the lunch of the young child who either didn’t like sardines or was too busy playing to eat.
No one was starving, no one was desperate. No one was dying. There was no crisis, no crucial emergency; no dire situation.
Jesus performed a miracle purely out of compassion. What a surprise and culinary delight to be fed a sumptuous meal to encourage community, break bread together, and to be sure that no one would become weak from having missed a meal. No one was starving, no one was desperate. No one was dying. There was no crisis, no crucial emergency; no dire situation. God cares. He cared enough to feed a multitude of people who had come to hear his teachings and be healed of their diseases.
The Word of God is relevant. It is for today. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). The story of feeding the 5000 speaks of God’s provision and illustrates His faithfulness to us in our regular, everyday lives. Scripture tells us to cast our cares on Him (why?) because He cares for us. He cares about us now – in the 21st century, the digital age, the age of advanced science and technology. Times are very different now than when Jesus walked the earth. Culture, fashion, methods, means of communication, travel, and cuisine have all changed. What has remained the same is people … and their needs. Their need to hear God’s Word, to be made well and healthy, the need to be nourished and the need to rest.
Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Click on the following links to read about modern day miracles of meals being multiplied to feed a crowd.
1. Pasta dish multiplied with enough to share:
2. Food was prepared for 50 orphans; however, 200 showed up that day and they were all fed having food leftover:
3. Outreach ministry prepares for 70 inmates, 200 were fed:
4. Four-hundred people fed with rations prepared for 200: https://www.sageviewfoundation.org/news-views/multiplied-meals-mexico/
When Martha was so bothered about her sister not helping with the chores, Jesus reminded her that she was ‘troubled and worried about many things’ (Luke 10:41). He saw that she had a lot more going on than what she expressed. Jesus doesn’t change. He cares about your daily activities. He wants you to have rest and leisure time.
Whenever possible, solicit help. Delegate tasks. Take a break, put your feet up and enjoy a nice meal. You’ve earned it. Practice a little self-care so that you are better prepared and able to be of help to someone else. As difficult as it is for most women, especially when there are loved ones who depend on us, it is not an act of selfishness to take time for yourself.
Comment below and share with us how the scriptures have helped you to overcome a challenge in your life
About the author
Lynette is a speaker, writer, and founder of Apples in Silver whose mission is to be intentional about making our world a better place, one word at a time. She enjoys reading, outdoor activities, and spending time with her family.