Diet Devotional 14
Luke 9:17 "They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over."
I didn't know what to think of this passage this morning. I had about 4 different thoughts, none of which made sense for my diet program. So, I decided to read back a few verses (I'm a huge proponent of reading in context). Jesus' disciples had just returned from their first mission trip. He had sent them out with all authority to heal the sick and cast out demons. Probably both weary and excited, the disciples spent some time alone with Jesus explaining their experiences. Then, they all retreated off to Bethsaida. It must have been a sweet time of fellowship. But the crowds followed, and verse 11 says that Jesus welcomed them. Another object lesson was coming for the disciples.
It was then that I noticed exactly what Jesus said. When the disciples suggested he send the crowds away for food and shelter, Jesus said, "You give them something to eat." Shouldn't he have said, "I'll give them something to eat"? And then I noticed that after he gave thanks and broke the bread, he gave the food to the disciples, not directly to the people. He gave it to them so that they could give it to the people. Interesting. Jesus was training the disciples to work in his strength, not their own. He was teaching them to be his hands and feet, in preparation for when they would face their ministries alone**. He was showing them how to be vessels for him, and that when God provides, he provides in abundance. In their own strength, the food would have fed two or three people at best. But with God's strength, a miracle happened. I believe that as I use God's strength in this process, I will not only lose weight, but I will learn more about being a vessel for him. And the end product will be a healthier, clearer-minded, more effective Melinda - someone who can impact not only a few, but many.
** When I say alone, I mean without Christ physically present. Christ sent the Holy Spirit to walk with us through everything, so we are never truly alone or without resources in our lives.