Where are you right now in your estimation of what you bring when you show up in the world? Your place of work, family obligations, community endeavors, place of worship, overall relationships that you encounter each day. We fluctuate in our estimation based on how the interaction or outcome occurred or played out.
Reading the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish can best describe my life. Maybe yours, too? This story can be found in Matthew 14:13-21.
I love hosting in my home, but I do get anxious. Will the house be clean, food delicious, and did I forget anything like napkins, or chicken nuggets for the kids? If I were hanging out with Jesus, and I was giving Him the heads up that the crowd is hungry, so you are going to have to wrap this up in five, and He told me to feed them, well, I think my “no chicken nuggets anxiety” would turn into an all out panic attack.
I’ve read this story a million times; yet, God spoke to my heart to take notice of two things–His humor and His power.
When the disciples question Jesus, He simply says, “You feed them.” Somehow I imagined Jesus smiling (knowing He is asking them to believe in a miracle yet performed) and laughing a little especially when he says the word “you”. It’s that moment in your parenting where you give over the authority to the child to act and believe in the power of God in their lives. There Jesus is with His children setting them up to build their faith.
The second thing God showed me was the concept of meagre rations of food. We show up every day with meagre rations of ourselves along with God’s grace and love AND THEN we do great things. You don’t show up in the world when you are perfect, you show up with what you’ve got in that moment, and you trust God to show up, too.
In this miracle, we see immediate results. That’s the best, isn’t it? When we can see right then and there? Most show ups are repeated over and over again until years later we see the finished. We may see small nudges towards growth along the way, but there are some things in life you really have to be patient and wait on the Lord and keep showing up.
I took a walk the other day. I was listening to my Audible book, Burnout. The chapter caused me to think of memories from childhood. I started to cry. A good cry. I remembered someone in my life who had passed and is now in heaven that was involved in this situation. I looked up to heaven, and my heart was impressed upon by the person seeking forgiveness. Nothing audible; yet a strong love saying, “I understand, and will you forgive?” I spoke aloud, “Yes, I forgive you.” I told them that I understood based on their life story why words were spoken, and all is forgiven. I laughed thinking of my own words spoken, and how we all want to be loved despite our failings in relationships. Lord, forgive me.
My heart was set free in this aching and memory. A lifetime in the making, but God, in His timing, brought restoration in His time. You might think it was too late. Didn’t you want to hear it from their mouth? Not really. The beauty of that moment, and the knowledge of heaven stronger in my Spirit brought overwhelming strength to face other challenges in my life. A deeper and more profound connection to the Holy Spirit was a gift given in love.
Live knowing that who you are in this moment is right where you are supposed to be and rest. God’s got you.
YOU feed them with what you have, and God will do the rest.