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When you need more than enough

We have all done it. Either at a grocery store or nearby restaurant, we have started to pay for the loaf of bread or that cheeseburger we shouldn’t have eaten and realized that we didn’t have enough money to pay the bill. Whether we mistakenly mistook a nickel for a quarter or a $1 bill for a ten, we all have found ourselves in that uncomfortable position of telling the person on the other side of the counter that…we didn’t have enough.

I personally remember such an occasion in my own life. A few years ago I was driving across the Southern Plains of West Texas. I stopped at a convenience store/gas station to put some fuel into my car. As I was filling the tank, I noticed an advertisement in the store’s window saying that a fountain drink of any size could be purchased for eighty-nine cents plus tax. So, after I filled my car with fuel, I went into the store to get something to drink.

I just knew beyond any doubt that I had counted my change correctly as I left the car. I walked to the back of the store and I filled the cup with ice and some diet cola out of the pop machine. Approaching the counter, I started counting out the change that I had in my hand. That is when I noticed that I had counted a penny as a dime. Instead of having ninety-seven cents to pay for the drink and the sales tax, all I had was eighty-eight cents.

Standing in front of the person who was about to take my money, I had to awkwardly tell her that I didn’t have enough. There had been a mistake, I had counted wrong and didn’t have more change in the car. Fortunately, that dear lady said that she had an extra nine pennies, which had no doubt left by someone else who did not want the pennies, and she would make up the difference.

I had been saved. I was off the hook. I had found grace with the owner of the convenience store. The extra she had, become my supply. My miscalculation and been eradicated. My momentary feeling of embarrassment (because I did not have enough to pay for my diet cola) was overcome by the favor of someone else.

This is the essence of the human condition. Whether your experience occurred because of being short a few pennies in a convenience store, or because you are struggling in a marriage, or you are dealing with a job that didn’t end well, each of us has had to admit that what we either had or were was not enough.

So it was one day one the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. In fact, this story is so important, it is told in all four of the Gospels.

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" John 6:1-9

Jesus and his disciples had finished a day of ministry and for whatever reason the Lord wanted to give the people who had been with him something to eat. But, the problem was that there just wasn't enough. The boy's lunch barely made up enough for him! Just imagine what it must have felt like for the Lord to tell his disciples to do something that they could not do on their own. Simply put, there wasn't enough. Until...

Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. John 6:11-13

Don't give up. Don't surrender to the lack. Jesus knows when you need more than enough and He knows just how to deliver it to you!

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