As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:15-21, emphasis added)
You may have heard this story many times. The miraculous multiplication of food. Incredible. Yet, the part that strikes me in this story is what Jesus does immediately before He performs this miracle. He gives thanks for what He had.
When I try to picture myself in that story to see how I might have reacted, I think I would have panicked. When I knew that thousands needed to be fed and all I had were five loaves of bread and two fish, I probably would be saying something like, So what are we supposed to do with that?!
I certainly don’t think I would be thankful in the moment, precisely because I would only be in the moment. If I had a larger lens, if I saw the bigger picture, then I would be in better position to be thankful. Jesus saw the big picture and thus was thankful for the little things. Had He not given thanks, perhaps this miracle may not have happened.
The fact is that each of us has much to be thankful for. Yes, things might be tough. It may seem like we may only have five loaves and two fish, but as Jesus showed us, when we look at the bigger picture we can see how blessed we truly are!
So let's give thanks! Happy Thanksgiving!