Thought for Thursday
When they were filled, He said unto His disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost’. John 6:12
I can’t remember hearing the word ‘leftovers’ when I was a boy. With eight children, my mother had a struggle to put enough food on the table to satisfy us. And we seldom had to be reminded to clean up our plates. My mother always hated to see food going to waste, so very little ever did. With so few fragments that remained, I wonder how the poor dog ever survived. Food left on plates now is a common sight, especially among the children, whose eyesight exceeds their appetite many times. Grace, for example, insists on two cookies, although she rarely eats more than half of one. The fragments that remain are swept into the garbage; they are lost. To waste must be part of our sinful nature, because our holy God never wastes anything. Jesus proved that by insisting that the disciples gather up all the fragments. Did you ever notice that the Holy Spirit gathers up the fragments of humanity today, because of our Lord’s desire that none would be lost?
I recall a man speaking for an organization that seeks to help the homeless and the destitute, the drunks and bums who have no place to go and no possessions to their names. He referred to these people as ‘human wastage’. Most of society sees these people as a waste of humanity, valueless and a nuisance. But God sees them, and we should see them, as fragments to be gathered up, that none of them be lost.
Before we were saved, we might have looked more respectable than some of the people around us, but we were certainly no better in any way other than appearance. Yet, in His infinite mercy, God dealt with us, striving with our spirit, to bring us to repentance and to faith in Christ. Every one of us was a fragment that needed to be gathered up, helpless as the bits of bread and fish that lay on the grass on that mountainside. We were as lost as the multitude’s orts, but our Saviour didn’t want us to be lost. He Himself paid the price for our redemption in drops of His own precious blood. He sent His disciples to gather us up, as we can remember those who sought to bring us under the sound of the Gospel, those who prayed for us, those who sacrificed that we might be saved. Even today, we desire to be the disciples that our Lord sends to gather up the fragments. And we long, like those disciples experienced, to know the joy of having full baskets to prove the riches of our Saviour’s grace.
How thankful we should be that the Lord Jesus does not believe in waste, or we might have been fragments that remained and were lost! -Jim MacIntosh