“Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over” (Mark 8:8)
This verse from the Gospel of Mark comes at the end of a famous Biblical story where Jesus feeds the hungry with very little. At first glance, it is tempting to think of the verse as a mere description of how much was provided for the crowd, but recently I read this verse and felt drawn to it in a new way…
I thought about how much time it must have taken to pick up all of the “broken pieces”. Why would they do this? Why would the author need to include this as part of the story? If it was just about letting us know the abundance of God’s provision, then the fact that “Everyone ate and was satisfied” (Mk 8:8a) would have sufficed. Why this added description of the disciples picking up…not just ‘the left over”, but the BROKEN PIECES?
I, of course, do not know the author’s intention, or why these particular words were used..but I would like to think it is because my God is the God of Broken Pieces.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
The Broken Pieces that were collected were part of what God had provided…they were a gift…just like each one of us. Perhaps we feel like we have been discarded, passed over, left behind, and maybe we have by some who do not appreciate the gift that we are meant to be. But even the BROKEN PIECES have a purpose…the disciples picked them up because it was part of what had been commanded of them in the Law…nothing was laid to waste…and neither are we. Even when we feel like a forgotten and broken into pieces, God sees us as a gift with a purpose, and picks us up again.
Do you feel like one of those broken pieces? Have you been neglected, passed over, left behind? Know, dear one, that you are NOT unnoticed OR unuseable for God’s purposes! Whether you feel broken in body or spirit, your Heavenly Father can pick up the pieces. He can take what others, or maybe even you, have deemed unworthy or broken about yourself or your circumstances, and use you to bring glory to His Kingdom according to His purpose!