As I paused to quiet my heart this morning I was inspired by this short passage in Sheila Walsh's devotional 'Gifts for Your Soul'. I hope it resonates with you also.
A Grateful Heart
"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." Matthew 14:19
"What a day!" said Peter.
"I can't believe how long this crowd stayed," Andrew added.
"They need to go home now. They're hungry, and I don't know about you, Andrew, but I am starving, and I've had enough of a crowd for one day. I'm going to tell Jesus to send them home."
Peter made his way through the vast crowd. Babies were crying. Children were chasing each other, jumping over unsuspecting adults. A few people had decided to take a nap on the hillside.
"Master, the people are hungry," Peter began. "I think you need to send them home now. I've had a look at their faces; they're exhausted. They need to eat."
"Then feed them, Peter," Jesus said. "Don't send them away."
Peter felt that old exasperation rise to the surface. This was such an impractical suggestion.
"We have five small loaves and two fish. Little fish," he said. "All we have is a boy's lunch, and you want us to feed this crowd?"
"Bring the food to me," Jesus answered.
Peter went back to where Andrew and the others were standing. "Is he going to send them away?" Andrew asked.
"No, he's not," Peter replied. "He wants us to feed them with a packed lunch."
"What?" Thomas exclaimed. "That's ridiculous."
"Just take the bread and fish to him," John said.
They all made their way through the people until they stood at Jesus' side.
"Here it is," said Peter, holding up a small parcel.
Jesus looked at the men and then lifted the tiny offering to heaven and said, "Thank you."
That is so radical to me! Imagine yourself in this position. Thousands of people are hungry. They are looking to you to feed them, and all you have is a tuna sandwich.
At best, I can see myself on my face before God, begging him to do something.
Jesus doesn't do that.
He doesn't ask God to do anything. He just says, "Thank you."
To me that says that his complete and utter trust is in God. It would have made no difference if a fast-food restaurant had suddenly appeared on the hillside, Christ's trust was in God, not in what shape the miracle took.
How wonderful to live in and with such confident gratitude. Can you imagine what a relief it would be? I spend so much time worrying about how things are going to work out rather than just giving thanks.
Barry and I rent a home. Today we received a letter telling us that we have to vacate the house three weeks before the baby is due. I look again at the life of Christ and I lift my eyes to heaven and I say, "Thank you."
Maybe you have a need that seems overwhelming.
Try trusting God for his provision.
Try looking up and saying thank you.
Joyful, joyful we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love!
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
Praising thee, their sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
Drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day. Henry Van Dyke
Thank you, Lord, that you know our needs even before we speak a word. Help us to look to you with a grateful heart. Amen.
(excerpt from 'Gifts for Your Soul' by Sheila Walsh)