Have you ever tried anchovies?
Whether you know it or not most Caesar salad dressings include anchovies in their recipes. I learned this recently while visiting my dad. He planned a nice menu for us to eat that I was to prepare. My aunt picked up most of the ingredients but forgot the anchovies and so I went to the store to get them. The can of anchovies was very very small. So small I called to make sure I only needed one can. I was convinced I would need to go out and buy more anchovies.
When I went back to my aunt’s house my dad wanted to try the anchovies right away even though we would not use them until the next day. This made me a bit anxious internally as I was thinking again we would have to go and get another can of anchovies.
He took an anchovy out of the can, licked it and then ate the whole thing…eyes and all. The chef’s response, “salty and delicious..simply perfection.”
The next day we made a caesar dressing to put on salmon. My dad called out tasks and I completed them. He called for three anchovies…don’t you know there were at least eight more in the can? And although we put sugar into the dressing, the dressing itself came out quite salty and nice with only three anchovies. I learned that day that a small little anchovy goes a looooong way.
This week in worship as we continue our reading of the New Testament we come to Mark 8. In worship, we will focus on the end of the chapter but the beginning of the chapter is the story of Jesus Feeding the Four Thousand. I can relate to the doubting disciples in this story! I was convinced there were not enough little fishes to make the dressing salty. The disciples too looked at the seven fish and were convinced it was not enough. One disciple even suggested they go into town and buy food for the four thousand people waiting.
The miracle of the story is not simply that four thousand people were fed and no longer hungry. The miracle of the story is that in Jesus God provides enough.
We might look at something and believe it is not enough.
We might look at our bank account and believe it is not enough.
We might notice our energy level and believe it is not enough.
We might look at our calendar and believe there is not enough time!
We might look at our house and believe there is not enough room.
We might look at our emotional strength and believe there is not enough.
We might look at our faith and know there is not enough to get us through a hard situation.
Yet, in the story of Jesus feeding the four thousand, we are reminded that in Jesus Christ what we have expands. In Christ, we only need a mustard seed of faith and Christ expands it. With God in mind, we need not try to fit all things in our calendar but have the strength to prioritize and put God first. Although we feel as though we do not have enough strength to handle a difficult situation, in Christ, we are given all strength and courage. God can use the little bit we have to offer and multiply and expand it.
This week when you find yourself worrying that you do not have enough of whatever it may be do not try and carry that burden yourself. Go to God and ask God to multiply your efforts and supplies and trust in God to provide.
See you on Sunday!