I don’t know about you, but very often in life—especially now, while I’m in college—I feel like I am always coming up short. I always need just a little bit more money, or just a little bit more time, a little more sleep, a little more energy, (the list continues) a little more determination, a little more focus, a little more self-control…Very rarely, if ever, are my own efforts enough. This is really discouraging, isn’t it?? When you’re doing the absolute best you can and it’s still not enough, many ask what the point is.
This discouraging realization is only one half of the story. It is true that what we have is never enough; however, when we bring that little bit that we have to God, He makes it more than enough. Take the story in Matthew for example, where Jesus feeds the thousands (Matt 14:14-21).
Most people know the story: Jesus was teaching to the crowd, heard the news that John the Baptist had been beheaded, and wanted to be alone, so He withdrew from the crowd and took a boat to a solitary place. The crowds followed him on foot, however , (the land formed a “U” shape, so they just walked around) and were waiting for Him on the other side. This would reallllllly annoy me, since I know what it’s like to want some alone time. But Jesus had compassion on them and started healing their sick. The disciples came to Jesus concerned that it was getting late and that the crowd needed to go home and eat (the disciples probably wanted to eat too!). Jesus said to them in verse 16, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” I love how calmly Jesus seems to say that, because the Bible says there were 5000 men besides women and children. I don’t know the average family size back then, but just counting the wives of the men, that’d be 10,000, and if each person has two kids, that’s like 20,000 people! And he gave the disciples the responsibility of feeding all those people! Talk about coming up short….The disciples apparently scrambled to look for food because they offered up five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus didn’t say, “Well, good job, boys. At least you tried, but you failed. Just go home.” Instead he said, “Bring them to me.”
We know the rest of the story. Jesus blesses the food, everyone eats until they are full and the disciples pick up TWELVE baskets of leftovers! What can we learn from this? Whenever we are unashamed to bring God the very little, insufficient amount we have to offer, He blesses our efforts, and allows them to bless others.
I know my little is never going to be enough. But if I bring them to You, You can make it enough to bless others. Please take my little love and make it big. Please take my little kindness and let it make someone feel special. Please let my little bit of determination accomplish great things. Please let the faithfulness I have be sufficient to serve You all my days. Please take my mustard-seed-sized faith and let it work miracles. I pray that my small talents bring you glory. Whatever selflessness is in me, please magnify it. Whatever compassion, heal a heart. Whatever generosity, feed, clothe, and help people.
Please, Lord, take all my insufficient efforts and make them worth something. As the Psalmist says, You stoop down to make me great. ❤