Last Sunday I was at a mission homecoming and a lady gave the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting. In her prayer she kept saying things like, "Please bless us that we will feel of thy love and know that we are important to thee" or "Help us to feel of thine approval and know that thou art aware of our efforts." I got the impression that this young mother was actually praying for herself or for someone else in particular. It was almost like she was trying to convince herself that Heavenly Father loves us and knows how hard we are trying.
As I have reflected on this prayer that obviously flowed straight from this sweet woman's heart I have realized that really all we want in life is to know that we are enough. We want to know that Heavenly Father is pleased with us and how hard we are trying because let's be honest some days it seems like we should just throw our hands up in the air and cry out, "I surrender! I can't figure this life thing out and I'll never be as good as I want to be. I'll never be good enough." As overdramatic as that may sound I think we've all felt it but then I realized that this is what the story of the fishes and the loaves from the New Testament is all about.
I love this story. I love it because it was never about bread and fish. It is about me. It is about you. It is about the miracle that Christ can work in our lives if we will just let Him. It is how we can come to understand that whatever we have to offer can be "enough."
Let's review the story.
Jesus needed food to feed the five thousand disciples who had gathered to hear his words. Andrew, Peter's brother, said, "There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes" (John 6:9). Five loaves of bread and two small fishes sounds like it would feed a decent size family but five thousand people? Probably not. We appreciate the effort Andrew but that's probably not going to cut it. But then we read:
"And when he (Jesus) had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men" (Mark 6:41-44).
It was a miracle. Somehow those five loaves and two fishes were made to be not only enough but more than enough. How was this possible? Through the power of the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus Christ woke his apostles up in the Garden of Gethsemane after he had suffered for the sins, injustices, sadnesses, feelings of inadequacy, heartbreak and all of the sicknesses that any of us have or will ever experience, he said to them, "It is enough."
There are of course many reasons he may have uttered this phrase but this week as I read it I couldn't help but think that maybe he was talking to me, and to you, and to the lady that prayed at Church.
"It is enough" (Mark 14:41).
What He suffered and experienced in that garden was and is enough, and it is what makes us enough. All he asks is that we bring what we can and we do our very best; that we offer up our five loaves and two fishes in hopes that by so doing he can work a miracle in us. He can make us enough.
Messages of Faith
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