When Christ fed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish, He gave them what they needed. I’ve heard it said many times that most miracles are to fulfill a real need, but I don’t think that this goes far enough. Every miracle fulfills a desperate need, but it isn’t always the obvious need.
A Deacon I know tells a story about the time he was pouring milk at Cafe on Vine, a charity in Davenport where the homeless can get a hot meal twice a day. On this day, he was about to run out of milk, and he was really dreading having to tell some people they could only have water to drink. Somehow, though, he wasn’t running out. He said something to his wife, and she watched, and soon several volunteers were watching. On his last gallon of milk, he poured full glasses for over 40 people. And then he put the jug back in the refrigerator, still over half full.
While this is remarkable all on it’s own, knowing only that part of the story misses the point that God was trying to get across. This particular Deacon had begun to have a couple of doubts creep in about the good he was doing. He had started to wonder if his time might be better spent helping out in some other way. As nice as it was that no one missed out on a glass of milk that day, this miracle was to show the man pouring the milk that God wanted him right there. God was showing him that there was much more going on than he could see.
When Christ fed the multitudes, all were satisfied, and many never forgot the kindness Christ showed them that day. But that miracle meant something more to the Apostles, knowing what Christ had just done, they were so inspired by God’s power, compassion, and generosity that they made sure the world would never forget. Sometimes God’s miracles are spectacular for what they do, sometimes they go unnoticed by most people. But every miracle gives someone just what they need, exactly when they need it.