Empty lunchbox life

I have five loaves and two fish.

That’s all.  Not enough to feed everyone.  Or to meet every need.  Not enough to get the kids to practice on time.  Or to make sure all their homework is done.  Not enough to solve every fight, to mend every hurt feeling, to wipe away every tear.  Not enough to get dinner on the table and do the laundry and dole out medicine and wipe snotty noses and empty the dishwasher and make lunches for tomorrow and break up the inevitable fight and get kids bathed and collapse so I can do it again tomorrow.

I have five loaves and two fish.

That’s all.  It’s not enough to do a good job with my job.  To take care of people who need care.  Or manage my responsibilities, or plan well for the future, or any of the thousand other things that seem, at times, necessary to my role.  It’s not enough to meet deadlines, to think clearly, or write well.

Five loaves and two fish.  That’s all the young boy had to give.  He didn’t have the capacity to do what God was about to do.  Maybe the desire, but not the ability.  He reached the limits of what he could give when he handed over his lunch for the day.  It was all he had with him.

Jesus gladly took it.  Maybe because He saw this boy give Him everything he had and He said to Himself, “I can work with that.”

God, I’m not asking for a different life.  Every time I read through Susan’s blog I am reminded that we have truly been blessed beyond measure.

What I am asking – what I need for You to do – is this: take my little offering and do a miracle.  Multiply whatever it is that I have to give.  Because God, there are many, many days where it feels like that’s what it’s going to take.  A miracle – where you breathe your power up into these dry bones and bring them to life.  Where, through some beautiful mystery, the whole becomes far greater than the sum of the parts.  Like that day long ago, where you fed a countryside of people with the lunch of a nine-year old.

So take it.  All I have.  My lunchbox is empty.  And I’m afraid I don’t have enough to give everyone.

But You do.

And I’m trusting You will fill it back up in ways that I can only dream of right now.


10 Responses to “Empty lunchbox life”

  1. Martha Deaton Says:

    God is taking you writing and blessing and encouraging lots of people. Take courage and know that you are making a difference.

  2. steph atteberry Says:

    We will pray for a miracle.

  3. Charlotte Lennartz Says:

    What a difference you ake in the lives of others – through your struggles others are blessed. Jerel, you are a wonderful man and father and it is my blessing to know you. Thanks!

  4. KenDove Says:

    It is amazing that everyday is a miracle, and a empty lunch box can be filled to overflowing . Thanks again for all you were to Alan.

  5. asdmommy Says:

    All I’ve been thinking today since putting two and two together is “wow.” You are amazing. Inspirational. Empty words that don’t really help your struggle, but true nonetheless.

  6. lisa Nageotte Says:


    You are so strong, so brave, and it pains me to read that you are hurting so much! I know that you will get your miracle! Hang in there, you keep writing and we will keep praying. You are loved!

  7. Sandy Says:

    Thanks for sharing your struggles. Life can be overwhelming at times, but the God we serve is the Overcomer. All we have to do is give Him our fish and loaves, and ask Him to do a miracle. He’s in that business! Eph. 3:20-21.

  8. Jennifer & John Says:

    I met your wife’s aunt last Saturday as my husband and I made our weekly visit to Huntersville Oaks. She is so sweet and full of life I felt the need to seek her out again this week. I found her in her room and as we chatted she told me about Susan. She spoke so sweetly of Susan, you and your children that it prompted me to see what I could find out about your family’s journey. I was thrilled that you have a blog and I read through much of this year and was struck by the strength you no doubt possess by the wonderful grace of God. I hope to continue my friendship with Susan’s aunt during her stay at the Oaks and I will also look forward to your book being published. Susan’s aunt also told me about your book and how very proud she is of you. Anyway, the blog is a blessing to John and me and we will keep you and your family in our prayers. Thank you for all that you have shared. Jennifer Taite

  9. Marti Sullivan Says:


  10. Megan (Main) Britt Says:

    I woke up today praying for your family, specifically for Bailey…and now, as I’m getting ready for bed, God brought all of you to mind again. Praying for all of you 🙂

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