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Nothing Wasted

"After everyone was full, Jesus told the disciples, "Now gather the leftovers,

so that nothing is wasted."

John 6:12

I remember feeling utterly broken. My home was in foreclosure after a period of income loss, and I needed to pack our entire family's belongings into brown boxes to prepare for an unwanted move. As I wrapped each valuable item with bubble wrap, not wanting anything to break, I felt as if my heart had already been shattered into a million pieces. Everything that I had built in life felt lost and wasted.

In John 6:10-13 Jesus gave thanks to God and distributed five barley loaves and two fish among 5,000 people. It says they all ate as much as they wanted and were full. Afterward, Jesus told the disciples to gather the leftovers so that nothing was wasted. I can only imagine what that must have looked like, fragments of slobbery bread dirty from being stomped on and some useless fish bones. Maybe the disciples thought this seemed worthless as they filled up twelve baskets. Nevertheless, Jesus wanted the broken, chewed-up pieces, the scraps marred from being touched and used.

At times, we can feel like our life is in pieces. Maybe it wasn't a job or financial loss like mine. But maybe your marriage is in pieces, or it feels like mothering your little ones has brought you into a crumbled mess, or you feel like your loved ones are getting your scraps. You feel exhausted and spent.

God, in all His glory, uses everything in our lives, even when we think something is too broken and messy. He wants us to be made whole and thrive. By picking up the leftovers, Jesus wanted us to see His example of His generosity, love, and care with the things we may think are worthless and too messed up for Him. Not one broken, worthless piece is left untouched nor forgotten by Jesus. And not only does He want our mess, but He returns what we need in abundance. The bread and the fish didn't just feed the people a little, but they had enough to make them full. John 6:14 says, "... Through this miracle, the people realized He was the Messiah they were waiting for! This is a perfect example of how Jesus is not only our source for physical needs but for our spiritual needs as well. Jesus provides more than enough; He takes our messy brokenness and turns them into overflowing baskets of miracles. He is our powerful God, the source and supplier of all physical and spiritual needs.

During this time of testing my faith and trust in Him, I held onto God's Word like a lifeline as it brought comfort and peace to my soul. I could feel His presence as I wrote scripture verses on the flaps of the moving boxes to remind me of His promises of faithfulness. I began to trust His heart and surrender to His way and will for my life. In the end, God not only did an external miracle and restored a physical home and job; He did an eternal miracle where He took my broken pieces with His mighty right hand and drew me closer to Him more than ever!

Just like Jesus met 5,000 people with their physical and spiritual needs, He did it in my life, and I know He will do it in your life. Where are the messy, broken pieces in your life that you need Him to show you that He is The Bread of Life?

Your fellow Able Mom,

Jayme Gradwell

Father, thank you for being the source of all my physical, emotional and spiritual needs! Thank you that as I trust and surrender to your will and way, you will fill me with peace and comfort. Thank you for your everlasting life, in Jesus' Name Amen.

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