Respecting the Value of Leftovers

I’m not sure what your thoughts are on eating leftovers.

Some people don’t like eating any leftover food. They refuse to eat food that was prepared the day before.

When I was a teenager, I would have done without if I had refused leftovers. But hunger was real, and our cupboards were often bare, so I was glad to eat leftovers. I recall that a bowl of pinto beans and two-day-old cornbread tasted better on the second and third days.

It’s been a few years since I was a teenager. In today’s version of the Strickland household, eating leftovers is rarely a matter of lack or not having enough. In this season of life, we often have leftovers because of the value of the original meal.

Maybe it was a favorite meal that one of us had requested. So we looked forward to it, and that made it valuable. Or perhaps the ingredients to prepare the meal were a little on the expensive side. For that reason alone, we will eat the leftovers.

Also noteworthy in our household are the covert tactics of Lisa’s Kitchen. She says she loves the taste of grilled food. So whenever I’m grilling, she keeps bringing fresh meat outside until I have cooked enough meat for a small army. What’s her end game? She has planned for us to eat leftovers for the next few days.

I no longer question the wisdom of my wife as she sets out meat for the grill. I have learned to respect the value of leftovers.

Then there are her famous homemade soups that last for days because she can only make them in an extra-large slow cooker. Again, leftovers were planned, and I’m okay with that because of their value. But just maybe, It’s A Southern Thing (watch this 85-second funny video about Thanksgiving leftovers).

Maybe it’s not just a southern thing. Have you learned to respect the value of leftovers?

The only miracle of Jesus recorded in all four Gospels is feeding the 5,000. And in each recording, the Holy Spirit mentions leftovers. John the beloved records these as “the fragments that remain” or “the leftover fragments” (6:12). Knowing that God always works with an endgame in mind, I don’t believe this was an accident.

Jesus made these fragments on purpose. He could have produced the exact quantity needed to feed the multitude. But He intended for there to be valuable leftovers! Therefore He says, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”

So we southerners cannot take credit for originating the value of leftovers. That’s okay. We have enough uniqueness without this discovery.

I’m so glad Jesus did that miracle with leftovers! I’ve often suggested that since there were twelve baskets of leftovers that perhaps Jesus had each of His twelve disciples carry a basket and follow that little boy home with the family’s groceries for the week. Don’t you know his momma was happy!?

Perhaps Jesus let each of His disciples keep a basket for their own provisions. Either way, it is certain that He did not want the leftovers wasted.

Jesus has always proved Himself to be the God of more than enough. Leftovers are valuable to me because the preparation is the same whether your seat at the table is filled or not. Leftovers are valuable and should not be wasted because they were lovingly prepared to meet your needs.

We should pray for God’s miraculous provision for others because it often leads to our provision. Jesus prepares leftovers with a purpose.

I’m convinced God is the chief source of my life. He supplies all of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. That means that every other source is merely His resource to take care of my family and me.

When a Christian truly surrenders their life to Christ and His Word, a godly vision soon comes. If one chooses to live according to His vision (the guidelines of His will as outlined in Scripture), He will take care of the needed provisions. He is Jehovah-Jireh, and He will see to it.

How have you seen God’s endgame of provision played out in your life? I’d like to hear about your experience.

Have you learned to respect the value of leftovers?

6 thoughts on “Respecting the Value of Leftovers

  1. My grandparents often breathed new life into leftovers by making them part of something new. I never really connected that with the feeling of the multitude. Out of seeming poverty grace creates abundance. Thanks for the message!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like leftovers. I intentionally make extra for dinner so that we can have leftovers for lunches the next day. Sometimes the leftovers taste better 🙂 I do have a friend that is anti-left overs. He even refuses the take home bags when they are out to dinner and have lots left over.

    Liked by 1 person

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