“He passed around what he had—they not only ate, but had leftovers.” 2 Kings 4:44 (The Message Bible)
The fragrance of fried chicken and green bean casserole made me want to cut into the line of people waiting to fill their plates at the potluck dinners where I worked. It was out of courtesy that I always brought up the end of the line—carefully watching to make I’d get there before those going for “seconds.” On more than one occasion at the church supper, by the time I got to the table, there were only crumbs, cream sauce, and signs of cabbage slaw left at the bottom of the bowls.
As I scanned over the tables of those already dining, I saw plates heaped full of all the food I would have enjoyed, too. “No fair—no one should be such a pig,” I’d grumble to myself. On my way home, I’d drive through McDonald’s for a burger or eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before going to bed.
The 2 Kings version of God feeding a hundred men with a few loaves of fishes and a couple of fish is lesser known than the ones in the New Testament in which Jesus fed 4,000 people with the same small amount of rations. One thing the stories had in common: There were always leftovers!
The miracles of abundant food weren’t just about staving off the hunger in the belly, but were written to remind us that God provides all our needs. And, there will always be leftover love, grace, and forgiveness for everyone.
Dear God, give us an insatiable appetite for the bread of life. Amen.