Whenever I am called to reflect or preach upon the multiplication of the food miracles in the Gospels I am tempted to believe that they are mere fabrications designed to awe people of the ministry of Jesus. Then I remember a situation where I personally experienced multiplication of food and I am forced to reconsider! One time I was helping in the kitchen at a youth camp and one of the other helpers, a cook and owner of a restaurant assured me that we were going to be somewhere in the region of about 30 plates worth of food short! When you are speaking of about 120 people that is a large percentage of the people! We were lacking food largely because of the arrival of unexpected groups of people. The woman in charge of the kitchen was a woman of faith and she assured us that God would look after the food situation. She warned us not to skimp on the servings when we were distributing the food and also refused to pre-serve the food so that we would be able to see if we had enough and work out a contingency plan! She asked everyone to line up and we began to serve the food. True to the Gospel story we had enough leftovers for us to reheat some meals for the following day!

The whole experience was great lesson to me in learning to trust the Lord in all things. It is relatively easy to trust the Lord in things that either you know are totally beyond your control or you can actually make a contribution toward them. However, in the case of food we could have got in the car and gone and bought more food though this would have caused problems with the retreat timetable. I learnt that there are times when it is best to just let God do what He wants and be satisfied with the results. Ultimately it is God whom we want to be in control so we should allow Him to be so whenever possible. This does not mean that we should be negligent with our various responsibilities! If we do what we are called to do, then we should be happy to leave the rest up to the Lord.

I am sure that the disciples would have walked away from the miracle of the feeding of the 4000 with a new found confidence in Jesus and a deeper faith and belief in the fact that He was sent by God. This is the ultimate purpose of miracles. They are never supposed to become the showpieces of some sort of a performance. They should always be deeply tied to the growth of our faith and the deepening of our commitment to following Jesus.

Do I believe in miracles? Have I experienced a miracle? What does God want to say to me through today’s miracle in the Gospel?

Lord Jesus, there are times when I doubt and times when I believe. Help the former to reduce and the latter to become the pattern of my life!