Count What Remains: How Jesus Teaches Us To See The Silver Lining
Jan 10, 2017 2056
There are times that are endings in our lives. We’ve all been through them, whether the loss of a job, a divorce, or the loss of a loved one. There is a sense of emptiness – of nothingness – that I have often felt. I have felt it when jobs have ended, and I have felt it when my mother died not long ago.
When Jesus miraculously fed the 5,000 by multiplying the 5 barley loaves and two small fishes, he also taught us a very important lesson about endings, and new beginnings. When everyone had eaten, Jesus instructed the disciples to,
Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted (John 6:12, NIV).
When they had gathered what remained, they filled twelve baskets (v.13).
The miracle had ended. That wonderful moment had ended. Now Jesus teaches us to count what remains. What remained was a huge abundance of blessing. The story never tells how many baskets of bread and fish were provided. It only tells us to count what remains. And what remained was enough for another feast!
We all go through hills and troughs in our lives. I’m sure that you’ve gone through some a notable experience lately. Perhaps it has been a wonderful one, live the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. Perhaps it has been a time of loss. Jesus is telling us to look beyond what has happened, and to count what remains.
What is it that remains? Twelve baskets full of blessings remain. The account in Matthew 14 says that the baskets were “full” (v.20).
Twelve is the number of the Kingdom of God. There were twelve tribes of Israel, twelve disciples, and there are twelve gates in the Jerusalem, whose foundation is built on twelve precious stones. The number twelve represents everything that what God rules over.
I don’t know what your life has been like, and what you have gone through to reach this point in your life. However, Jesus is telling you to count what remains, and when you do you will find that what remains are an abundance of blessings of the Kingdom of God.
Sadly, too often we measure our lives by what we lack rather than by what we have. That’s why Jesus reminds us to count what remains.
When you do that you will find that no matter how empty or worthless you may feel at times, our God who did not withhold his own Son from us, will not withhold any good thing from you either (Rom 8:32).
The abundance of Kingdom blessings is more than you can imagine. In the words of the apostle Paul,
All things are yours, whether… the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God (1 Cor 3:21–23, NIV).
That’s a lot to count! – Eliezer Gonzalez