When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his  disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

– John 6:5-13

For some reason, that sentence really stood out to me: Let nothing be wasted.  Jesus not only provided more than enough, He made a point of not wasting it.  I think it is significant.

God provides more than enough.  God does not want us to waste the gifts that He’s given us.

But I also wonder if there is another, perhaps deeper meaning. Sometimes I wonder if I’m wasting my life, or big portions of it:  if my life is a waste. All those mistakes and  poor choices and wrong paths; fumbling and failing, tripping and falling; selfishness and sinfulness.

But God is a God of broken pieces and broken people and lost things, and making things beautiful in the end, in His time.  So maybe nothing will be wasted.  Nothing I’ve been through, nothing I’ve done: who I’ve been. Maybe He can still use it and make something of it, and it won’t be for nothing.  I won’t be for nothing.  And there’s hope in that.

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