ACW

ACW

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Loaves and Fishes Effect by Jane Clamp

It's been an interesting couple of weeks at church. Last weekend we had a special event on called "The Father's Heart" with guest speakers and visitors drawn from a wide area. It gave the usual church experience a heightened edge, a sense of anticipation and expectation - and we weren't disappointed.

After church this Sunday, a friend was telling me how the weekend had been for her. She had volunteered to help with the catering - something she has a particular talent for - and was tasked with feeding the youth team. Numbers would be around nine, she was told, so she bumped up the ingredients to allow for extras. On the day, she told the organiser that the meal was ready whenever they were. "There's enough for fifteen," she finished. She is a discerning lady anyway, but the absolutely aghast expression of the organiser was a bit of a giveaway. "But there are 47 of them!" What?!

A quick decision was made to order pizza. Lots and lots of pizza. Did I mention that our church is in the middle of rural Norfolk and a well-known "not-spot" for mobile signal, never mind pizza delivery? Living here, we need faith just to make a phone call  - getting through at all is considered miracle enough. As meal-time approached, and with no sign of pizza, my friend felt God tell her to just start serving. Would it surprise you to hear that 40 people (it turned out the 47 was an exaggeration) ate from the "inadequate rations" and there was some left over? The pizza order never arrived, by the way. I think God cancelled it.

As ever, all this led me to think about writing. How often do we feel our words are as inadequate as the five loaves and two fishes? We sit down to write to a hungry world and feel we have so little that it wouldn't even take the edge of its appetite. But... God is in the miracle game, and his words have incredible power.

Here are a couple of things about God's word that never fail to cheer me up. First, that one single word from God can be enough. Especially when that word is "yes" to something we've been asking for! Second, that no word that comes from His mouth ever fails to achieve its purpose. Let's pray that more and more we may know "the word that sustains the weary" (Isaiah 50:4), no matter how meagre our offering may look.



Janey Clamp is Creative Writer in Residence at BBC Radio Norfolk and on the Premier Radio Thought of the Day team. She is currently on a month's leave so she might actually finish editing her first novel. She leads the ACW small group Brecks, Fens and Pens based in West Norfolk.

10 comments:

  1. Loved this. We often forget the fact that God will provide and this is a perfect reminder. Thank you

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  2. Great post. I love the idea of a writing being like loaves and fishes when presented to God

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  3. Great post. I love the idea of a writing being like loaves and fishes when presented to God

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  4. Amazing miracle, thanks for sharing. And a lovely reminder that God is enough. Period.

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  5. Really amazing how God can meet all our needs and more - it's humbled me to see how God was so faithful in what looked like an impossible situation! As a writer, it can be so easy to forget that God provides all our needs and equips us for every situation. Thanks for sharing this! :)

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  6. What a great story! Thanks for the inspiration - when our words are nor enough, God can add His to make them more than enough. A great piece to read just before I start my writing today :)

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  7. This is an amazing account of God's great provision in time of need, and a wonderful encouragement to all of us when we look askance at our seemingly insignificant offerings.
    We so often forget how faithful God is to not only inspire but to make so much more of our deeds and words than we anticipate. Lovely post. Thank you, Janey!��

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  8. That's wonderful. How amazing it is to have a friend in the business of miracles, who can take our little bit and make it something amazing.
    Thanks Jane. This post helps me today.

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  9. Thank you all for your positive response to my little offering! So glad. I sensed God prompting me to share this, it had made such an impact on me.

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  10. Great story - very encouraging - and I love the term 'not-spot'! Ha ha.

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