May 11, 2010
‘"How many loaves do you have?' he asked. ‘Go and see.' When they found out, they said, ‘Five—and two fish.'" Mark 6:38 (NIV)
I glanced at the clock on the bottom of my computer. It was 6:47 pm and the email had been sent hours earlier. I kicked myself for not checking my email that afternoon and regretted not being able to respond to my friend's plea for prayer as she prepared to share her testimony in a small group at her church. I scanned through her email again and saw that the time she was supposed to begin was at 6:30. Feeling a little foolish, I typed a quick email:
"Dear Karen," I wrote, "It is 6:47 and I am praying your testimony will be effective in the hearts of those who listen." I had no idea why I included the time, it just felt like the right thing to do. I guess because I wanted her to know I did what I could as soon as I could. The next morning, I woke up to this email:
"NO WAY!!!!!!!!!! I was told to arrive at 6:30 and we'd start once the ladies got their kids settled. The leader had me start.....AT 6:47!!!!"
There are too many times that I have been in a situation like that and done nothing because I couldn't do it "right." I beat myself up with thoughts like: A better friend would have prayed as soon as the email came out. A more organized person would have checked her email earlier. How often do we feel like we fall short of what we could be doing as Christians? We wish we could give more, pray harder, speak up more, offer more time. And in the end, because we can't do as much as we want, we throw up our hands and do nothing. Because we can't do it all, we don't do anything at all.
As I read my friend's response, I was glad I did something, taking the little I had to offer and giving it anyway. I was too late by my timing, but not by God's. I had missed the opportunity to pray for my friend before but God miraculously had me open the email at the moment she was beginning and pray then.
In Mark 6:35-44, Jesus performs the miracle of feeding the 5000 men. The disciples told Him that they didn't have enough to feed the crowd. They were ready to give up. I love the question that He asks them in our verse today: "Well, what do you have? Go and see." When they turned over what they did have to Him, He was able to multiply it beyond what they could have imagined.
So many times I come to Him and say the same: "I just have this little tiny bit…of money, of time, of resources, of energy."
And He says, "Bring what you have to me. That's all I ask. Let me take care of it from here."
So I ask what little you might have to give? You might not be able to give $1000. But you could give $10. You might not be able to pledge hours and hours to serve at church. But you can serve once a month for one hour. You might not feel comfortable speaking to crowds. But you're great at sharing what God's doing in your life one-on-one. You might not be able to lead a prayer ministry. But you can pray for a friend who needs it, even if it seems like you're too late.
Let God take your little and make it much. Let Him take your 6:47 and make it right on time.
Dear Lord, show me how I can respond when I feel like I don't have enough. Help me to offer my little in Your name and watch You respond in multiples. Open my eyes to the times I need to offer what I can and let that be enough, trusting You with the rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Jesus is asking you: What do you have? Go and see. Spend time today seeing what you have.
What are the things that keep you from saying yes? Fear? Inadequacy? Insecurity? How can doing something little help you overcome these things?
2 Kings 4:43, "'How can I set this before a hundred men?' his servant asked. But Elisha answered, ‘Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.'" (NIV)
2 Kings 4:44, "Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord." (NIV)
© 2010 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 11 May 2010.