I read again the story of how Jesus fed 5,000 men- and no doubt many women and children too- with just five loaves of barley bread and two small fish (John 6:7-11). So many elements of this event could be called out to our attention. From Phillip’s lack of trust…to Jesus’s compassion and complete control…to the miracle itself of feeding so many.
But the one thing I focused on was the little boy who gave Jesus his “five-and-two”. Who knows how old he was exactly, but many believe he was probably just a little guy, about elementary school aged. I would bet that lots of people that day brought some snacks as they listened to Jesus speak, which were probably gobbled up in no time. This boy, however, brought a whole lunch! And somehow he hung on to it and saved it for later.
Why? What made him hold off his stomach until lunch time? And why did he bring a whole lunch and not just some snacks?
I bet that his mom was sitting there with her little boy at the time. And as they listened to Jesus the boy at some point asked if he could eat what was in his lunchbox. I imagine Mom told him to wait patiently and politely until Jesus was finished.
“But Mom,” he may have whined. “I’m hungry!”
“Just be patient, honey. He’s almost done,” Mom probably replied.
As I think of this scene, it’s not just the boy’s imposed patience that strikes me. It’s the fact that he has an entire lunch. Most likely his mom, like all moms, probably wanted to make sure her boy had some food with him if he was going to be gone all day.
I pack my three boys’ lunches every school day, plus if we’re going to the park or the beach, or any time we’ll be away from home for a while. I love my boys and I don’t want them to get hungry or lose energy. Or worse, get the grumps. Like all moms, I look out for my kids. I’ll bet you do too.
So I can easily see myself in this mom who just did her usual mom thing and made sure her boy had his lunchbox packed for a long day out and about.
What she didn’t know was how her simple “mom thing” changed the lives of literally thousands. Had she not done that- had she just simply stuffed a few crackers in his pocket- nobody would have been miraculously fed that day and the power of God would not have been displayed.
So here’s the really cool thing. We serve a sovereign God. A God who is in complete control of all things at all times. He sees everything, does everything, knows everything. He sees the fallen sparrow, He knows how many hairs you have on your head, He knew you before you were ever knitted inside your mother’s womb, and He knows the exact day and time He’ll call you home.
So do you think God knew that that little boy would bring a lunchbox that day? Do you think He put it on Mom’s heart to make sure her son had some food to take with him just in case? Oh yes!
See, God took a mom just like you and me, reminded her of her love for her son, and packed a lunch. A lunch that ended up feeding thousands of people. God can use all of us like that. Just everyday moms doing our everyday thing.
God’s Word tells us that we are to let our light shine before men in order to do good works so that the Lord will be glorified. Kids’ lights can shine bright too when they have moms who just do their everyday mom thing. If we’re faithful and obedient in our love, God can use us to change the lives of others.
Tomorrow when I’m packing my boys’ lunchboxes for school, I’ll think of that mom long ago who did the exact same thing one day. And I’ll remember that being an everyday mom is an amazing blessing.
Wouldn’t you agree?