Encouragement for the Overwhelmed: Fishes and Loaves from Matthew 14- Amy Pattillo 


Several years ago, a friend and I were commiserating over our inability to accomplish all that was required of us as employees, friends, wives and moms. We talked about how the to-do lists at the office seem never ending and when we arrive home, our bodies don’t have the endless energy they once did to accomplish all that is still required. I have realized we were not alone. All the working women we knew were in the same situation and there was no end in sight.  

Shortly after that conversation, I read Matthew 14:13-21, where Jesus feeds the 5,000.  That parable tells us that Jesus took the loaves and fishes, looked up to heaven and gave thanks for what was given. Everyone ate until they were satisfied. God not only multiplied the 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5, 000 people, there were 12 basketfuls left over! 

The miracle had become so familiar, I overlooked a truth that has now changed my approach to work, family and everything I do. The truth is this: my job is to offer God all I have each day and trust Him. God’s job is to take what I offered, regardless of how much it is, and make it into more than enough. 

Several months later, March of 2020 unfolded. While many were stressed, I found it a surprising gift.  I traded the exhaustion of early mornings and late nights for sufficient rest that resulted in an invigorated outlook on life.  I secretly hoped the pre-Covid pace would not return.  Before I knew it, we were right back to the pace of work, church and kid activities. Ironically, everyone seems to be making up for lost time and life seems busier than ever!  

As we approach demands that leave us feeling inadequate, let’s stop and remind ourselves of the posture Jesus wants from us every day. Join me in praying that the Lord would take our “fishes and loaves” we have to offer and multiply them for His glory. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God promises “to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.”  There’s no telling what God can do with the little we have to offer. I’ve seen God do this in my life over and over. I hope you will see Him do it in your life too!