Too many times I have looked at others' lives and thought what do I have to offer? Especially now. My days are spent trying to nurture and train up these little ones and it doesn't leave much for other ministry. My life looks glaringly different than most. These children are complex with many issues and situations that can cause our knees to knock together some days. LOL! If I'm not careful I end up in the pit of "poor Lisa". So, after recently wallowing in this pit God spoke to my heart.
He sent me to John 6:1-13: (The Message)
"After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galiee. A huge crowd followed Him, attracted by the miracles they had seen Him do among the sick. When He got to the other side, He climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by His disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of The Passover, kept annually by the Jews. When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, He said to Philip, "Where can we buy bread to feed these people?" He said this to stretch Philip's faith. He already knew what He was going to do. Philip answered, "Two hundred silver pieces wouldn't be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece." One of the disciples- it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter- said, "There's a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that's a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this." Jesus said, "Make the people to sit down." There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted. When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted." They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers.
It sure looked like what this little boy had to offer was nothing compared to the great need but he stilled offered it up and that was the point. He just had to offer what he had and then Jesus would be free to use it to bless others. That one little lunch was used to feed thousands! Everyone ate their fill and there were still leftovers. Now that's Supernatural Provision!!!
And what about those disciples?? I'm sure they were in stress mode when Jesus told them to figure out how to feed all those people. It looked hopeless. Until....until the wee little boy enters the scene. He brings the hope. Maybe just a glimmer but hope just the same. Of course, the whole time Jesus had a plan. He was using this situation to stretch their faith. Sometimes stressful circumstances are the catalyst for the most growth in our lives!
If you didn't know this story, would you have guessed the hero was the wee little lad? Of course not, he looks so unlikely. Imagine with me if you were that boy.......the sun was hot, scorching your back as you listened to the words of Jesus. You don't understand alot of what He is saying but you just love the sound of His voice. It's hard to see of course, because the men, much larger than you, and thousands upon thousands of them, crowd out the possibility of even seeing Jesus' face as He sits preaching. Suddenly, there is a stir in the crowd and straining to see what is going on you hear a man next to you say there is no food. You swallow hard as you readjust your hand upon your little basket mother packed you for lunch. Questions assault your mind...should I offer my lunch? Will they laugh at me? All I have is 5 small loaves and 2 fish, certainly not enough, is it? Finally, you carefully stand up amidst the crowd of seated men and hold up your basket for all to see. All eyes are upon you. The disciples shaking their heads in hopelessness take the basket and offer it to Him....Jesus. His eyes land upon yours and He blesses that little lunch. Much later, sounds of contented men fill the air as they lounge allowing their full bellies to settle. That's when you are aware you were privy to a miracle. Not only privy, but fully a part of it. It wasn't about the lunch. It was about opening your hands and giving the best you had, leaving it in His hands, and allowing your limitedness to showcase God's ability and glorify Him.
So how does this apply to me? Even now, consumed with my task of motherhood, when I feel like I have nothing to offer, this story gives me hope. As I nurture and train my precious ones, I am giving my best and then must leave it in His hands to provide supernatural provision! And without fail, even when things in the natural look "hopeless", to push on, trusting Him and believing His promises are true. As others on the outside watch our lives they are amazed at what they see and that's when we can confidently give God all the glory and praise because without Him, we are just a little lunch!