“And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.”
One of my favorite miracles in the Scriptures is the feeding of the five thousand. Much attention has been given to the boy who gave his five loaves of bread and two fishes to the Saviour to feed this great multitude, and rightfully so. Jesus didn’t have much to begin with, but He took what He had and blessed it above the needs of the people of that day. However, maybe the greatest part of this miracle is that there were fragments that remained. Most people would never take these fragments. Most would have left behind the fragments because the crowd had been fed, and there was supposedly no use for those fragments. Apparently, the Saviour was interested in the fragments because He made sure that His disciples gathered the fragments that remained. When all the fragments were gathered, there was more left over than there were whole pieces when Jesus began.
What I love about this story is that God is as concerned with the fragments as He is the whole piece of bread. A fragment is that which has been broken. In other words, it is just a little bit of what it used to be, but it is still usable in the hand of God. My friend, there are many people who are fragments in life, but they are still usable to God. It may be you who is the fragment, or it may be someone in your church who has fallen in sin and has become a fragment of what they used to be, but you or they are still usable to God. Let me share a few observations about this great truth.
First, God is as interested in the fragment as He is the person who has yet to be broken. There are no unimportant people in the ministry. In fact, if you looked at God’s toolbox of people whom He has used or wants to use, you will find that it is filled with mostly fragmented people who have been marred in some way.
Second, a fragment only means that it was used. Just because someone is a fragment doesn’t make them less of a person. The fact that they are a fragment of what they used to be only means that they were used at some point. Don’t look down on the fragments because God wants to use them as much as He wants to use the unbroken person.
Third, there will always be more fragments than there will be unbroken pieces. If we are only interested in using the unbroken pieces in our churches, we will never find anyone whom God can use. The churches that are being used by God are the churches that find a place where the fragments of life can be used.
Fourth, a fragment may only be a little bit of what it used to be, but they are still usable to God. Never forget that God can use anyone, and that includes you. Sin may have broken your life, but you are still usable to God. There is not one person who has done some sin that God cannot use again. Who knows what God could do with the fragments of your life if you will just give the pieces of your life to God to see what He can do with you.
Fifth, someone must gather the fragments. One thing that ought to be the mindset of every church is that their job is to gather the fragments of life. Every church should be filled with fragments. Yes, our desire should be that people are not broken by sin, but the fact is that those are very few. Every person is a tool whom God can use as long as they make themselves available for His use.