Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

Where Are Your Loaves?

10 April 2022

By Simon Carter

 

In Mark 8 we read about how Jesus fed four thousand people, with only seven small loaves and a few small fish. Now, I know quite a few people with extremely large appetites, and I am sure that they could have devoured the entire seven loaves and the fish all on their own.  Yet, the passage tells us that all the people ate and were satisfied, and not only that, but after they had eaten, the disciples collected up seven full baskets of leftovers.

 

We often read about these miracles in the Bible as if they are just stories when, in fact, they are very real, and are available for us all to experience for ourselves today.

 

I grew up in Bradford, and lived in the same house, with my parents and brothers, into my early twenties. It was a large house, built during the Victorian era, with large rooms and lofty ceilings. We had seven bedrooms and two bathrooms, whilst the ground floor also accommodated my dad’s business, a busy, local Post Office. It was a fantastic house to grow up in, with winding hallways to run through, lots of little alcoves to hide in and plenty of space to have all our friends around.

 

However, at the age of twenty-three, I was asked by the company that I worked for to relocate to a small market town in Hampshire called Ringwood. Having prayed about the opportunity and talked it through with my soon to be wife, we both felt that God was telling us we should go. So I made a commitment to the company that I would relocate.

 

Faced with the challenge of buying my first house on an extremely limited budget, I started to investigate the property market in the area, only to find that house prices were exponentially higher than they were in Bradford. With limited resources, it became apparent that all I could afford was a single bedroom, back-to-back terrace or a one-bedroom flat. Looking around some of these properties, I began to feel somewhat claustrophobic, having been used to living in a spacious environment. There was no way I could see myself living in any of these properties.

 

So, I threw it back to God and said, “Lord, if this is really where you want me to be, then I need you to provide me with a suitable house to live in.”

 

Within a matter of days, a three-bedroom semi-detached property, with gardens at both the front and rear, came onto the market. It had been sold three times already but in all three instances the sale had fallen through at the last minute. Desperate to sell, the vendors had drastically reduced their asking price. But it was still much more than I could afford.

 

Regardless, I went to see the property and I instantly knew that this was the house for me. I placed an offer, which was much less than the already reduced asking price. Within two hours the estate agent came back to me to say that the offer had been accepted, providing that the sale could be completed within three weeks – which of course was ideal for me.

 

Going back to the feeding of the four thousand, the disciples merely provided the loaves and the fish, which Jesus multiplied so that each person ate their fill, and there was even plenty left over.

 

In my story, the loaves were provided in the form of my obedience and willingness to relocate to the other end of the country. God then multiplied what I had and provided me with a house that was far more than I could have even afforded back in Bradford. But not only did he provide the house for me and my wife, he provided even more than we needed – and we were able to bless other people with free holidays in the New Forest.

 

Today, remember that it is not your job to perform the miracle but it is your job to provide the loaves and the fish. I ask you, what are you believing for God to multiply in your life? And more to the point, what are you bringing to the table for him to work with?