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Monday, March 14

Am I missing miracles all around me? 

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 

John 6:9 

Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 with only five loaves of bread and two fish has always stuck with me, ever since I heard the story as a youngster in Sunday School. It’s a miracle described in each of the four gospels, and the question posed in this verse from John came from Andrew, one of the disciples. How in the world could the huge crowd of 5,000 people, maybe more, be fed with so little that a boy had to offer?

I’m a newspaper guy by training, and I can’t help but wonder how a writer and editor would have covered this story objectively. Journalists are trained to be skeptical, so even after hearing of this miracle, talking with people who had seen it and perhaps even viewing in person the 12 baskets of bread and fish left over after all were fed, would the report-er still accept it as the gospel (excuse me there) truth?

The next day’s newspaper headline probably would say something like, “Followers of former carpenter claim he fed thousands through genius rationing plan.”

I like Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 on several levels. The first has to do in accepting miracles. Jesus performed this incredible feat, and it still wasn’t enough for the disciples to accept him as the Son of God. It took his walking on water for that to happen the first time. I’ve always wondered whether I’ve appreciated the miracles that have happened in my personal life, or those that occur around me daily with-out my realizing it.

There’s a sense of trust and faith in this story. Jesus had the disciples distribute the food to the crowd, and as they did, they had to believe it would be enough, though they probably started out with great doubts.

But I really like this story because it shows that no matter how insignificant we might think our gifts and talents might be, they are enough to serve God. The boy had only five loaves of bread and two fish, but he offered the food to Jesus anyway. Jesus in turn showed how God can take small gifts and repay them far beyond what could be imagined.

So a prayer for today: Dear Lord, give me the strength to rec-ognize the miracles around me, the ability to trust your wis-dom and the knowledge my resources, large or small, can always serve you. Amen. 

Mark Wineka 

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