Tuesday, April 7, 2009

feeding 5000 (or was it 10,000?)

About a year ago, God brought to mind the New Testament story about how Jesus fed 5,000 men (along with their wives and children) on fives small loaves of bread and two fish. I was in the middle of an intense season helping my three children to heal through a type of neuro/physical therapy. I was feeling incredibly worn out, overburdened and like there just wasn't enough of me to go around. (There wasn't!) :-)

When the Lord brought this story to mind, I felt Him speaking to my spirit that no matter how many needs I had, no matter how many needs my children had, He would meet every single one. And so I began to pray. Every time I started to worry or feel overwhelmed, I gave those feelings to Him. It was incredibly freeing to know that while on my own, I may be able to handle some of my life's responsibilities, but God was able to meet all of them, plus MORE.

God has brought this same story to mind recently. However, this time, He is showing me a new facet of the same story.

Funny enough, I turned on the radio a couple of weeks ago to listen to while I was sewing a curtain for Chelsea. There was a pastor preaching on a station I have never listened to before. I was ready to switch the channel to another station, but my ears perked up as soon as I heard his Scripture reference--John chapter six. :-)

The pastor talked about the fact that on our own, what we have to offer God (and the world around us) can seem pathetic. Yep, that was the word he used. Pathetic. He said that when we hold on to what we have, it stays pathetic. BUT, when we trust the little we have to God, He can (and will) make it extraordinary.

The little boy only had enough for his own lunch, and yet he gave it away and in turn fed 10,000 people with enough left over to fill twelve baskets. I call that extraordinary!

The widow gave two small coins, all she had, and in turn was acknowledged by Jesus and remembered for eternity in God's Word.

The preacher went on to talk about how our marriages, relationships, jobs, etc., can all be "pathetic" in our own hands, but when we release them to God, He is able to work miracles and make them extraordinary.

On the flip side of that, when we hold onto what we own (or rather, think we own), we not only stop God from blessing us, but we prevent Him from using us to bless others.

In Crazy Love, Francis Chen wrote, "We are loaded down with too many good things, more than we could ever need, while others are desperate for a small loaf. The good things we cling to are more than money; we hoard our resources, our gifts, our time, our families, our friends. As we begin to practice regular giving, we see how ludicrous it is to hold on to the abundance God has given us and merely repeat the words thank you...The concept of downsizing so that others might upgrade is biblical, beautiful...and nearly unheard of. We either close the gap or don't take the words of the Bible literally." (pages 120-121)

Challenging, isn't it? Please don't take these words are a source of guilt, but rather inspiration. Our life in America is comfortable and I know that I too often take it for granted. If I hop in the shower and the water is anything but hot, I'm disappointed. I like to have my ice-water very cold. If it's luke-warm, I don't want to drink it. How quickly I am to forget how precious clean water, flowing directly into my house is.

God isn't asking me to give up the perks in my life, but He is calling me to share the abundance that He has given me.

It's an invitation to an amazing adventure. It's also a process of learning, surrendering and trusting that as I let go, He won't leave me stranded. The truth, however, is spoken in three small words found in 1 John 4:16: "God is love." My desire is to rest in His love and to trust that He always has my best in mind, regardless of what my circumstances looks like along the way.

This is never a boring journey, is it?

Praying that you are resting in His love today and LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Sweet blessings,

1 comment:

Blessed Family said...

Great post! Downsizing. What a concept! You have a great way with the written word too. Thank you!