the miracle of the twelve tortillas

it happened when i was in the most un-miraculous mood, at dinnertime, the most unholy hour of the day. i was counting my days miseries most unforgivingly. grumbling about how there is never any help. how the kitchen is always dirty & the dishes never done. ignoring the blessings. ignoring God's goodness.  

i was making dinner for the 346 time this year & i was sighing. hungry toddlers had congregated at my feet with a unified chorus of 'i'm hungry mummy... i'm so hungry'. the baby sits in a slush of applesauce at the counter crying to be let down from her highchair. and i am not thankful for the food i am preparing. not thankful one bit that i am doing this all alone. i fumble through the cupboard, shifting toddlers from one side of the kitchen to the other as i ransack drawers & upend empty containers. i forgot. again. to get my act together & finally get a grocery list & meal plan going. i find some leftover chicken from the night before & an unopened bag of tortillas. i count out how many tummies i am filling tonight. rats. not enough tortillas. i need 12 & the package is clearly labeled 10. i don't care, i tell myself. i have too many other problems consuming me at the moment. maybe if i ignore it, it will magically work out. i smack the sour cream, salsa, chicken mix into the mismatched tortillas... except their not mismatched. which is impossible. i count them again. i have six tortilla tops & six tortilla bottoms. but how can that be? i ask another adult in the kitchen to count them again for me because it doesn't make sense. she concurs that i indeed have 12 tortillas in total & the package says 10. i carefully inspect each tortilla to make sure i didn't just split them accidentally in my huff. nope. they are perfectly thick. 
my puzzler is still puzzed. i have spent my life reading about how to set the atmosphere for the miraculous. how to sow faith & reap in multiplication. none of it matched the miracle in my tiny kitchen that day. because it had absolutely nothing to do with me. it happened in spite of me. and yet it happened for me. i instantly knew the Lord loved me. and He even loved me in my ungratefulness. in my tired, faithless, frustrated grumbles. He moved anyways. that is my miracle. that He loves me anyways. that He provided not because He had too or because i begged or because i was on my best behaviour. no. it was just because He loves me.  
"this is always the thing: God is always good & we are always loved." 
{ann voskamp}
one passage that i have studied for sometime, preparing myself for a miracle someday, was mark 8. it's after the feeding of the four thousand & Jesus & the disciples had set out in a boat across some body of water & those 12 disciples too had forgotten their shopping list & they had no bread. and Jesus turned to them & said...
 "“watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”and they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. and Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? do you not yet perceive or understand? are your hearts hardened? having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? and do you not remember? when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” they said to him, “twelve.”  “and the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” and they said to him, “seven.” and he said to them, “do you not yet understand?” 
{mark 8:15-21, esv}
i wholeheartedly admit that i do not understand yet. but what i do understand of this passage is that the disciples reasoning started with what they lacked, seemingly ignorant of heaven's resources despite the miracles they had just witnessed. as Jesus points out, they had just fed more people with less bread & came up with leftovers. "why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread?"He asks. i have read this passage so many times & His question still stings 'why is it that you are thinking about what you don't have?' after He's done all to display to me that there is limitless resources in His kingdom. 
"thought patterns & processes that start with our lack can only end up with human resource for human need. kingdom thinking is different. it lives in an awareness that anything can happen at any time." 
{bill johnson}
and so i find myself humbled & all to familiar with the leven of the Pharisees {thinking religiously, all bound in tradition} & the leven of Herod {practical atheism, there is no God to meet my needs}. that i too reasoned that i had no bread & turned to human resource to meet human need. that i practiced my religious tradition of dinner hour without any thought that the King might be watching. i too forgot that God was in the boat with me & that He takes my leftovers & multiplies them. 

1 comment:

  1. I love this miracle. And it reminds me that I don't have to strive or struggle to make everything perfect or to get my words just right in order to see miracles happen in my own life. Thanks again for such a good post.