I love the story in Matthew 14 when Jesus fed the 5000 with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. When you stop and analyze some of the finer details and think about it as a real-life event, not just a story, it is a little bit funny, too.
Jesus has just come out of solitude after He learned that his cousin, John the Baptist, had been beheaded. This is another example of grief in the scriptures. When Jesus heard the news, He withdrew from the crowds. But as soon as He came back out, there was a multitude waiting for Him. He didn't send them away and tell them that He was working through His own stuff. No. He was moved with compassion and healed them. The disciples were in the background doing some calculations and taking inventory.
As evening fell, they decided the best thing to do was to send the people away so they could feed themselves. In verse 16, Jesus says, they don't need to go away; you give them something to eat. The disciple's response to this ridiculous scenario lets me know they had already been thinking about it. Their inventory (which had to have taken quite some time) revealed that among the 5000 plus in attendance, there were only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. They had already been trying to figure out what to do in their overwhelming situation. They had asked all the hard questions and tried to figure out a way to fill in the gap so they could meet the needs of the people. They were out of resources, at least in the places they had thought to look. But Jesus had another idea: a better plan.
Jesus told the disciples to bring the meager amount of food to Him. (v.18) He blessed it. Then, the disciples distributed it to the crowd. What had seemed impossible and illogical became reality.
What does any of this have to do with caregiving? I'm glad you asked. The disciples had shifted into a sort of caregiving role as they were trying to figure out how to take care of the crowd that had gathered. They felt responsible for caring for them on some level. But they didn't have it all figured out. So many times, I feel like I fall short as a caregiver. I can do more. I can do better. All I have is...
But Jesus, our ultimate caregiver, steps in and makes what felt impossible - possible. His blessing fills in the gaps, even ones I've made myself. I go through a lot of inventory fails. I look at what I have in my hand and the crowd of responsibilities and needs staring me down, and I feel like it's never enough. Yet after I take it to Jesus (ah, there's a thought), it always becomes enough.
Today, I'll remind myself to take the meager findings of my personal inventory to Him. I'll purposefully wait for His blessing and then watch the miraculous unfold. With His blessing - we can make another day. But I need to remind myself to give it to Him over and over again, as many times as is necessary. Once we release it all to Him, then we just need to sit back and watch Him work in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones. Today is a great day to trust Him with all our concerns, even weak inventories. Will you join me?