And all ate and were filled; they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:20-21)
Our culture teaches us to think about things scarcely. Advertisers spend entire careers convincing us that we don’t have what we need to be happy, effective or even get by. There is always something in front of us telling us that unless we have more, we are going to miss out or be inadequate. Who wants to miss out on all that life has? So we live always watching and wanting something.
On the other hand, from God’s perspective, we already have more than enough. In fact, despite the wealth gap between rich and poor widening, as a culture there is no more affluent culture on the face of the earth than the western culture of which North Americans are a part. The fact that anyone should be short on food, not find shelter and be unable to get health care is a tragedy that surely is breaking God’s heart. Yet we are prone to say that there is just no solution to these things – there isn’t enough to go around.
Now here comes Jesus. Saddles with a group of disciples with the same weak imagination that most of us have, Jesus is confronted with a huge group of people who are ready to eat and there appears to be way too little. The disciples want to simply get rid of them. The apparent need is way bigger than the resources they see.
But Jesus sees through the eyes of God. God’s abundance is more than capable of dealing with the situation. When Jesus is done there is not only enough for everyone, there are baskets of leftovers besides.
When we look at the world through the eyes of the world, we often start from a perspective of scarcity. But when we see the world through the eyes of Jesus, we are able to see abundance and possibilities that the world often misses. So, spend more time looking at your life through God’s eyes. It might look very different!