This is what counts

And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.
Mark 6:41

VBS-kids-el-salvadorI’m an accountant by training. So I count.

I counted a lot in El Salvador.
Kids. Beads. Kids. Cookies. Kids. Color sheets. More kids.

After the first two days, the numbers said I was in trouble.

Counting can drive you crazy.


Twice a day, Jan and I would count out five loaves of bread (hot dog buns in a former life) and two paper fish to give our actors (Mark 6:33-44).

And twice a day children would watch Jesus “miraculously” multiply the bread into many loaves and the fish fold out into several. Then they’d count twelve baskets of leftovers (in Spanish, of course).


So why was I doubting the numbers?

Because the number of actual kids was greatly exceeding the number of expected kids. And that meant we wouldn’t have enough.


So every day I’d pray. Lord, help me, help me, help me. How are we going to serve all these kids? What if we run out of juice boxes? Will there be enough bracelets?

And every day, the miracle came. I knew by the numbers.

Sometimes it came by switching the 8-bead bracelet into a 6-bead bracelet (or a 4-bead on the day I was particularly concerned). Or it came by using a different color sheet than planned. Or by sending our team early Sunday morning to buy additional snacks and cups.

Or by ways I knew not of.

In the end, we counted many leftover snacks, beads, and coloring sheets. More than twelve basketfuls.

Why should I have expected less?
I can always count on Grace.

And they all ate and were satisfied.
Mark 6:42

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How have you counted grace lately?




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