Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Dipping the Quill Deeper: A Question of Provision for Writers

by Eva Marie Everson

First, A Look at the Old

In the days of Moses, when the Hebrew slaves in Egypt were about to become a freed Jewish nation of people, God instructed them to prepare for what would later be called Pesach, or the Passover (see Exodus 12). This preparation included a perfect lamb’s blood on the doorposts of their homes and bread prepared without yeast. 

Soon, they were packed up and ready to roll, leaving Egypt behind to follow Moses into the desert where they were to journey toward the Promised Land. Enroute, they miraculously crossed the Red Sea while God held back the water, then watched it fall upon the Egyptian army, which had come after them. The people sang and danced and were glad . . . until . . .

They had an issue with drinking water. For three days, there was none to be found. Imagine their glee when they came upon the oasis of Marah followed by their disappointment at realizing the water there was bitter. So Moses took a piece of wood, threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. 

Satisfied, the people moved on.

A month later, they had journeyed into the Wilderness of Sin (Sinai) where they began to complain because they were hungry. 

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily” (Exodus 16:5,6 NKJV).*

The crossing of the Red Sea. Bitter water turned drinkable. Manna (bread) every morning. 

Signs and wonders . . .

In Jesus’ Day

The time was nearing to celebrate Pesach. Jesus and His disciples had crossed the Sea of Galilee and docked near Bethsaida (Luke 9:10), which was located along the northeastern shore. Peter, his brother Andrew, and Philip had all three grown up in this fishing village. 

No sooner had Jesus and His disciples arrived than a crowd showed up. According to the story recorded by the apostle John, a huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick (John 6:2 NLT). 

Signs and wonders . . .

Jesus then turned to Philip and asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” (6:5a)

This seems logical, doesn’t it? Jesus, who grew up in Nazareth, is asking the question of Philip, who grew up in Bethsaida. He is, in effect, a visitor asking the local, “Where do you suggest we get some bread?” This is much like if you came to the Orlando area and asked me, “What’s your favorite grocery store?” or “What’s your favorite restaurant?”

But Philip looked at things from a financial point of view. “We don’t have enough money to feed them! Even if we worked for months . . .” (6:5b) In other words, he didn’t answer the question.

But Andrew, who also had grown up there, came up with a half-answer. “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (6:8 NIV). The fact that John recorded that the bread (pita) was barley was to let the reader know that this boy was poor. He was but a poor child with a poor man’s lunch. 

But in the hands of Jesus, it was more than enough to feed 5,000 men (not including women and children) with basketfuls left over.

Signs and wonders . . .

Jesus’ Question to You, Dear Writer

The questions God asked throughout the Bible are the questions He still asks today. Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?

Jesus was specific with Philip. He didn’t ask about any food other than bread. And I’m certain, that as a Jewish men and women, those in attendance saw something more than just the miracle. The bread in the wilderness had been from God. The bread on a hillside outside of Bethsaida was also from God. In the wilderness wanderings, God had taken dew and turned it into bread that fed the Hebrews to their fill. As the Jewish people gathered around Jesus, hungry, He took the offerings of a poor boy and turned it into more than enough.

Have you noticed that there are writers out there who seem more eloquent than you? The words appear to come easily to them. They sit, you suppose, and within minutes they have composed award-winning masterpieces. But the truth is, it’s the “poor boy’s lunch” that feeds the greatest number of people. 

Our job is to rely on the Bread-maker. Our job is to give Him what poor little bit we have—although some may see it as quite impressive—and let him multiply it to fill those who will partake of it.

In your writing, are you seeking the Bread of Life? Are you looking to Him for your writing provisions? Take your journal and write the question at the top of a fresh page. Then, answer the Lord—honestly. Remember, He knows your heart. There is no reason to make things up with Him.

*The NKJV does not capitalize the pronouns for God.


Eva Marie Everson’s book The Third Path, which examines the questions God asked in the Bible and our responses, is due to release in August 2022. To stay informed, go to 
EvaMarieEversonAuthor.com and request to be added to her monthly newsletter. 

Eva Marie Everson is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She is the multiple award-winning author of 40 books and countless articles and blogposts. She is also an award-winning speaker and a Bible teacher. Eva Marie is often seen at writers conferences across the States. She served as a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and taught as a guest professor at Taylor University in 2011. She and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy their grandchildren. They are owned by one persnickety cat. 


  1. Thank you, Eva Marie, for feeding us God's manna through this deeply thoughtful post.

  2. "Our job is to rely on the Bread-maker." Well said, Eva Marie. Thank you.

  3. Love this so much!

  4. An excellent and encouraging word! Thank you!

  5. Thank you for asking challenging questions, Eva.