Yesterday, during my devotions, my scheduled reading had me in Mark, where I read both stories of Jesus' feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000 in chapters 6 and 8. As I was reading, I noticed the phrase "and were filled" was used in both accounts. I began to think about how being filled during a meal satisfies us, and I drew some parallels with how Jesus satisfies us in our personal lives.
First of all, He satisfies us willingly, with compassion. In both of these stories, the Bible states that Jesus had compassion on the people. And He has compassion on us; He cares about the smallest details of our lives. Someone once said, "Compassion is your hurt in my heart." Jesus truly has our hurts (and our needs) in His heart.
"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
I Peter 5:7
Jesus also satisfies our needs in His own way. The disciples thought they didn't have enough food and would have to go and buy some more, but Jesus supplied the necessary food in an unusual way. We may expect God to supply our needs in one way, but many times, He does so in a way we never expected. I'd even venture to say that He does it in ways that seem impossible to us, ways we would never even think of!
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Sometimes He supplies our needs by increasing what we already have. The available food wasn't enough to feed everyone, but Jesus increased it and made it enough to feed everyone until they were filled . . . with quite a bit left over! God can take what we have, meager as it may seem, and use that to supply our need, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. We just have to make what we have available to Him to use however He sees fit.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that yet mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
Jesus will completely satisfy our needs. The people he fed went away filled. I don't think they had to eat again when the got home because they didn't get enough. He will give exactly what we need, and it will be enough.
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory."
Jesus uses others to fill our needs sometimes. Jesus used the little boy's lunch to feed the 5,000 and someone else's food to feed the group of 4,000, then He had the disciples distribute the food. Many times, God will use someone to fill a need in your life. So don't protest when someone wants to give you something! God may be using them to fill a need, so let Him - and them - do it. Allow God to use human instruments to satisfy your needs.
"Give and it shall be given unto you . . . shall men give into your bosom."
Finally, Jesus supplies our need at our point of need. Many examples in the Bible point to God supplying the needed things only when they were needed, not before. I think of the ram for Abraham's sacrifice, the oil and meal for widow of Zarephath, deliverance for Daniel from the lion's den and the three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace . . . God supplied at the point of need. In the feeding of the crowds, Jesus supplied the need when He saw that the people were hungry; He didn't prepare the food beforehand! And He'll give whatever we need when we need it.
"Give us this day our daily bread."
"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest name I know,
Fills my every longing, Keeps me singing as I go."
Image credit: John and Helen Mary Skelton