Packing Their Lunch
There’s a miracle that takes place in the book of John. It’s a miracle most of us are familiar with, but I believe there is a detail we often overlook. Jesus multiplied a young boy’s lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5,000 people, and then they filled 12 baskets with leftovers! The question to focus on today is, “What are you packing for lunch?”
What are you feeding yourself every day? What are you “feeding” your kids? Are you filling them up with truth that God can multiply into miracles!
The entire miracle in John 6 was dependent upon a mother packing a lunch the child would take. It was with intense care that she packed that lunch for her son. She gave him what he needed. She made sure he was prepared. And better yet, he was willing to share it! The miracle in this story started with the parent who packed that lunch basket.
Abraham is perhaps the most infamous parent in the Bible. He’s called the father of nations. When God chose Abraham, the Bible said that he was an idol worshipper. What did God find in Abraham’s resume that impressed Him? What were his qualifications? What were his unique distinctions that made God choose him to become the seed through which the nation of Israel, and ultimately the Messiah, would arise?
The key that unlocked the favor and the trust of God is found in Genesis 18:19, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him” (emphasis added).
God chose Abraham because He knew He could trust him to put something in his children that would outlast him. That was the great ingredient God was looking for in humankind. The number one characteristic he was looking for was if Abraham would pass on what he had—his faith, his trust in God—to his children.
The ultimate test came when Abraham built the alter that would hold his miracle child, Isaac. And he was willing. We’re on the other side, and we know God was looking for obedience and trust, and wouldn’t require Isaac’s sacrifice … but Abraham was in the moment. He didn’t know the end of the story. He didn’t know that once he agreed to trust God 100% – no matter what – God would use that child to deliver the world! God’s own Son would be born from his lineage.
It’s not easy. At times it seems impossible. Tests and trials and temptation come at every stage of parenthood, even when those children become adults. But God called you. God gave you that child, that son or daughter, that niece or nephew, biological or adopted, temporarily or forever. If God has entrusted a child in your care, consider what your packing in their lunch. What are you feeding them day in and day out? What are you filling them up and sending them out the door with?
In a moment of crisis, when it would have been a natural response to panic, Abraham stayed persistent. He kept his faith and chose to trust God in the situation more than he trusted himself. We cannot live in fear and torment—now, perhaps more than ever in modern history—we must learn to be parents who pray instead of panic. We must pass on to our children the faith we carry. “Pack their lunch” with faith they can use, faith they will share, and faith that will multiply and feed 5000!