When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
The scraps that the disciples ended up with amounted to more than they had started with. But isn’t that just like God? He consistently multiplies blessings in our lives. That’s just the kind of God He is. And perhaps the disciples would have otherwise just tossed these scraps aside and let them go to waste. But Jesus had just proved that a little could go a long way. He had just proved that what they viewed as insignificant could make a big difference.
We shouldn’t be careless with the blessings of God. A gift from God is not to be wasted. It should be used for its purpose to the fullest extent. Jesus had multiplied the food in a miraculous way, giving them abundance where they had lacked. It would then be foolish and wasteful to dispose of the extra. It was something to be thankful for, not something to take for granted. This remnant left over had value. Because even though God’s ability to provide is infinite, He still wants us to be good stewards of what He gives to us.
For the disciples, carrying around those baskets of “over and above” was a reminder of Jesus’ promise and ability to meet their needs. But it also represents the abundance that we have in Christ. It shows us how He delights to bless His children. And perhaps they would need that food on their journey to come. Jesus doesn’t waste anything. So perhaps it is also a reminder that He has a purpose for everything He creates. Gathered together, those fragments could be used to feed a few more.
Surely we have experienced the abundance of God’s blessings in our own lives. But we also shouldn’t be dismissive of those fragments that might not seem to matter. God can use even them to make a meal and meet a need. Sometimes it’s just a matter of each one contributing their little bit until it adds up to something much more than we would have expected. Nothing about this feast in the wilderness was wasted, for even the experience of it taught all who were there a valuable lesson about God. So let’s remember, as we take up our baskets of fragments left over, the promises of God to supply and His goodness as He pours out His blessings upon us.