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“They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve baskets full of broken pieces that were left over” (Luke 9:17).
On a recent Sunday, God blessed a group of single ladies at my church in an unexpected way. As the leader of this small group, I ordered four pizzas to accommodate 10 women who RSVP’d to emails and calls. Four medium pizzas, 32 slices, would be plenty for 10 women. Some would eat more, some less.
During the first few minutes of gathering, two women who hadn’t responded entered the room. That’s okay. There will still be plenty to eat. Another five minutes passed and the 10 women arrived who told me they’d be attending. But then so did four more women who hadn’t RSVP’d. Maybe I better just eat one piece and not the two I thought I wanted. Within a few minutes, four additional women came in who hadn’t let me know they were coming. Uh-oh. Whether I eat one piece or not, we are likely to run out of food.
For a moment, I thought about the blessings of this varied group of women. Some were new faces, some were familiar. But mostly, I fretted. I breathed a simple prayer, a small request. “Lord, please work this one out. This pizza needs to stretch.” How in the world will four pizzas feed this many people? I couldn’t order more and have it arrive fast enough for the luncheon.
As people filled their plates from the pizza boxes, I expected someone near the back of the line to say “Is there more?” I waited at the end of the line. I thought there wouldn’t be any pizza left by the time I got up there. Not wanting the shortage to be a big deal, I planned to quietly sit down hoping no one would notice I’d not gotten a piece.
Although many women took only one piece, I noticed several put more than two on their plates. My turn, I stepped up to the counter. Lo and behold, eight pieces sat in the boxes. I stared at the pizza. How is this possible? Thirty-two pieces total, 20 women, most with two on their plates. The numbers boggled my mind but the evidence lay before me.
During the luncheon, several ladies went for seconds, thirds. I thought at the end of our time together, the boxes would certainly be empty and ready to trash. God blessed our fellowship time. I prayed the new ladies felt welcomed and would return for another event.
The ladies left for home and as the leader, I remained behind to clean up the room. I stepped to the counter where the four boxes remained, certain it would be an easy cleanup of empty containers. Every box contained at least one slice. One box had four slices.
I chuckled and shook my head. Oh, ye of little faith. God provides. My job is to trust Him completely, with everything, big and small. We weren’t the 5,000 in John’s gospel, but our group witnessed a modern day fish and loaves story with pepperoni, cheese and sausage.
We ate. We were satisfied. There were leftovers.
Questions: Have you witnessed a miracle despite personal doubt? When is the last time God surprised you with a blessing?
About the Author Gail Morris