What happens after the feast?
After a time of filling our stomachs with turkey and all the trimmings, it’s now a memory.
But what of our hearts and minds and spirits?
Are we feasting on God’s Word to fill our minds and spiritual bellies with His presence, with His Life? So that they overflow in mouthfuls of thanksgiving?
Thankfulness is not a denial of reality with its profusion of problems, its surplus of circumstances. Thankfulness focuses on the Lord, His blessings, and His working power in the midst of trials and tribulations. *
The disciples give us an example of a situation after the feast. Pretend you are there…
A great crowd gathers in a fishing village on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Thousands of people cover the grassy valley. Moved with great compassion for them, Jesus heals the sick and teaches them about the kingdom of God.
The day is about to shut its door; the sun begins its descent. The people are hungry. How are the disciples to feed all these people? Something needs to be done.
With the meager offering of five loaves and two fishes of a young boy, the Lord takes it and provides an answer by multiplying it. The disciples witness the miraculous feeding of a multitude.
They all eat and are satisfied.
Not wanting anything to go to waste, Jesus tells the disciples to gather up the fragments. They fill twelve baskets with leftovers.
Immediately, Jesus sends the disciples out in a boat while He sends the people away and He goes up the hill to pray.
But wait! What’s that appearing just over the hill? A storm is churning and it’s headed your way. You’re stuck out in the middle of roiling waters in a little dingy. Your life-boat begins to rock as the waves of circumstance crash over you. Your heart is overwhelmed, just like the disciples.
As the sun slips down into its western bed for the night, it leaves a trail of shimmering gold across the sea. The disciples row for several hours in the dark.
Springing out from behind the hills is one of those quick and brutal storms that develop at the snap of the fingers on the Sea of Galilee.
From His place on the hill, Jesus sees the men at sea. Shards of lightning flash against the black of night, silhouetting the disciple crew as they fight to row the canting vessel against the surging waves and hostile wind.
In the light of one lightning shaft, another silhouette appears. The men scream in terror, supposing they see the ghost of a dead one spewed up by the sea.
“It is I! Don’t be afraid!” calls Jesus across the growl of the squall, climbing into the boat with them as the storm calms…
With the smell of the fish still clinging to their fingertips and the bread crumbs still resting in the folds of their garments, they do not remember how those things got there. The bread merely filled their stomachs. **
Though they filled their stomachs with bread, they forgot to fill their hearts with the Bread of Life.
The next time a roiling storm approaches your life, don’t quickly forget the feast, God’s working in your life. Remember the miracle of The Bread of Life was broken and multiplied to overflow for you.
May your heart and spirit be filled and overflow with gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord always.
Blessings of thanksgiving, Lynn