This good word from a precious blogger friend (see the bottom of the page) gives me the opportunity to share a miracle that we had the privilege of participating in while we were celebrating Sukkot in Jerusalem. I hope it will bless you as much as it did us!
Background: We arrived in Jerusalem early on Friday afternoon a few hours prior to sundown, the beginning of Shabbat. In Jerusalem, shops, markets and restaurants begin shutting down around 3-4 pm on Fridays in anticipation of Shabbat, so we had very little time to do some quick food shopping to supply us over the next 24-48 hours. Some friends (Kimberly and Michael Brown) had arrived the day before and planned on having most of the Shabbat meal food already purchased, but we needed to get Challah, some fruit and some extras for the meal, plus breakfast, lunch and dinner for the following day.
The market was jammed and it was really hard to even FIND anything, while the actual purchases took a while because of the crowds. We only had time to buy minimal food for the four in our group before we had to head back to our apartment. We were hoping that Kimberly and Michael had had better success! The Ryan family of NINE (parents and 7 children) had also arrived Friday afternoon and were also scheduled to join us for the Shabbat meal. They, too, were supposed to shop for their weekend food plus bring some additional items for the Shabbat meal. Unfortunately, their arrival included some complications that prevented them from doing any shopping whatever. Suddenly we needed to come up with food for nine to last until Sunday. No problem – we would just eat less and send some of the Shabbat meal home with them, and we could share some lunch stuff, too.
The meal was to be held at our little apartment. Kimberly and Michael arrived with what they had been able to purchase. They had also had a hard time finding pre-cooked food. They had two little roast chickens (one fit in the palms of my hands with no problem) and a pound or two of baked fish, plus wine and a nice salad. They also brought lots of plastic plates and table ware, cups, napkins, etc. Very nice! We had purchased three loaves of Challah bread, a big bowl of fruit and some grape juice, plus a couple of very small side dishes. It wasn’t much for a meal for 15 people – especially considering that we needed to feed nine people for another day from the same supply, but we figured we could tough it out.
Then I heard Kimberly on the phone inviting a dear Danish friend named Lars to join us! Okay, one more – we can do that. After she got off the phone, she explained that Lars also had his wife and little daughter with him, but that she had invited them because they, too, had just arrived that day and had had no time to shop for food because NONE of their baggage had arrived and they had had to spend all their time shopping for clothes and even shoes for their little girl. Oh my…..
So we laid out our little supply of food. The fish and chicken took up about a square foot of space on one counter and the rest sparsely covered a small table. The wine and grape juice took up another square foot of space on another counter.
The Ryan family of nine arrived, and we all jammed into our little apartment. It was apparent that we were going to have to make use of the tables and chairs in the courtyard downstairs!
Then Lars called to say that he couldn’t find our apartment building. Kimberly and Michael left to lead them in. A few minutes later, they came back with Lars and his wife and daughter. What a pleasure to meet them!
But when I looked up from greeting Lars’ family, I was amazed to see more people behind them! And then MORE people! And even MORE people!
Lars had brought his tour group of TWENTY ONE Danish Christians!!!!
And they were all hungry! They had all arrived just a few hours before and had had no time to grocery shop (may Yah bless the sweet people who managed to bring some nuts, some dates and two big nut & nougat loaf cakes). Since the restaurants were closed, Lars had – in faith (something our dear friend Lars has a huge supply of!!) – invited them to come along. We are so glad he did, because we got to see our mighty YHVH in action!
A little later two more people arrived, so we ended up with THIRTY-EIGHT hungry people and not nearly enough food for them. But Yah is faithful!!!!
We handed out plates and sent everyone down into the courtyard where there were some tables and chairs. First we offered the blessing, and then we sang “Shabbat Shalom!”, which rang through the entire building. Lars later mentioned how thrilling that was to his Danish friends, who had never celebrated Shabbat before. Praise Yah!
Then everyone began filing back upstairs to get their food.
These precious people had no idea that our supply was limited. We served them first, and they piled the food on their plates – it had been many hours since they had last eaten, I guess, and they were hungry! Then the family of nine came up to get their food, and you know how children are. 🙂
My husband John was standing near the food as he poured the wine and grape juice. He kept watching and waiting for the moment when he would have to apologize and explain that there was no more food. BUT THAT MOMENT NEVER CAME!
He told us that he would watch a person cut a big piece of chicken meat off of the little chicken, or take some fish, and when they walked away, the chicken looked as though only a tiny bit had been cut off and the fish looked untouched. I saw that myself – at the very end of the meal, I watched a lady cut a big piece of breast meat off a chicken (I could tell from her plate that she had come back for ‘seconds’). I had seen plenty of breast meat on other plates. It should have been all gone. But when she walked away, the chicken still had all of one breast and most of the other. I was stunned!
The miraculous ending of the story is this: As far as we know, all thirty-eight people ate as much as they wanted, and after the Danes had left, we were able to fill a backpack with left over chicken, left over fish, left over fruit, a whole (uncut) Challah loaf, and LOTS more, to send home with the family of nine!!!!
Y’shua multiplied the Loaves and Fishes (and chicken and fruit and a lot more!). Praise His Name!!! His Word is trustworthy!!
Reading: Matthew 14:13-21
Jesus told his disciples—“Give them something to eat.” What, Lord??!!! There’s five thousand of them, not counting the women and children—where do we get the funds??!!! But the Lord told them to bring to him what they had—five loaves of bread and two fish. And we know the rest of the story—bread and fish multiplying, with twelve basketfuls of leftover at the end.
Lord Jesus, help me to see what I have. Help me to bring it to you, trusting that however small it is that I have you will use it to bless many.