hn 6:5-13 (NIV)

5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip,1 “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”

6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

7 Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wagesa would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother,2 spoke up,

9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”3 

10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.
11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks,4 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.”

13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

John 6:9 (NIV)

9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”1

DEVOTION -Kim Harms (Iowa)

In preparation for my mission trip, I planned to learn a variety of useful Haitian Creole words and phrases.  But that goat dropped so low on my priority list that when I arrived all I could say in Creole were the numbers one through ten.

One afternoon I found myself away from the interpreters as I helped several students work on their sewing.  My students’ assignment was to cut a variety of small pieces of fabric for a craft project.  Lacking an interpreter, I found I was able to communicate with the students by way of hand motions and counting out the number of pieces each person was to cut.  It seems like such a little thing, but through it, I was reminded that God uses the little things.

In today’s reading, Jesus used a boy’s five loaves of bread and two fish to feed thousands of people.  My ability to count to ten in Haitian Creole did not help thousands, but it did help eight sewing students.  It’s easy to disregard the little things we offer into great blessings – for ourselves and for others.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What little things has God used in my life recently?

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to recognize the little things in our lives and use them for your glory.  Amen.