I’ve been studying John 6 over the last eleven days, and, at verse 13, I remembered a Bible reading my Grandmother sent me a year ago. Clipped from her devotional and tucked in the mail with a letter, it was called, “Gathered Fragments”. She added a note that, as a young women, she had a collection of poetry, quotes, and autographs which bore the same title. Inside my heart and my mind, I pulled the clipping out again and chewed on it for a while. This is what I found:
Life seems like a hurricane sometimes – tearing through our quiet worlds, scattering creatures with its violence, shattering hopes (those fragile things we carry), and leaving rubbish strewn everywhere: glass, twigs, shingles, tree trunks, front porches, and more. Like Hansel and Gretel, we have a stippled trail of crumbs and broken bits in our wake.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost (John 6:12).” Five-thousand men, plus any family they had brought, had just eaten a full meal, and Jesus saw to it that the clean up was thorough.
And here is why: Nothing is lost. Not through Jesus; not when He is watching out over our lives. Not a crust of bread, not a broken dream, not a single wayside soul escapes His sight. It’s amazing what we discover once He has it all gathered together. Fullness. When the disciples were finished with their task, 12 baskets were filled with the broken pieces that remained (John 6:13). A kingdom decked in the finest silk banners and polished gold would not bear the glory of God’s Kingdom which is filled with all the redeemed of the earth.
And yet I should not forget that, as His disciple, these are also my directions: Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost. It’s work, you see, but I have to remember to “keep a basket in hand”: to always be gathering the broken pieces remaining from my life for God to use in His Kingdom.