All around us we see the injustices of the world. We see the brokenness and the heartache on the faces of our friends, our neighbors, and the strangers we pass in our community. We see global hurt and despair on the news and we hear about it in conversations.
We want to do something, yet we have nothing to offer.
We feel like we are standing at the fence, looking in, but we don’t have anything worthy of joining the race.
Maybe you have a heart and passion for the countless children around the world who die of malnutrition every day or are exploited sexually. Maybe it is for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted around the globe. Or maybe you’re heart beats for shut-ins, or prisoners, or the elderly.
Or it could be that you feel drawn to make a difference in your neighborhood, in your workplace, or in your community.
So many times these cries of our heart seem so much bigger than we are. We look at what we have, or should I say what we don’t have, and we reason in our minds that we could never make a difference. We talk ourselves into doing nothing about these bigger issues, because we think we don’t have the capacity to really make a difference.
This could not be further from the truth.
I remember when Jesus and the disciples were off to rest after strenuously doing the Lord’s work. As they were heading out by boat, more and more people began to recognize Jesus from the shore, and they rushed ahead to the boat landing and were waiting for him and the disciples when they came ashore.
Jesus had great compassion on them and began to teach them. As it drew later in the day, the disciples suggested they send the people away to surrounding villages to find a meal.
Jesus responded to the disciples, ‘No, you give them something to eat.’
No doubt the disciples were shocked at the response. They tried to explain to Jesus that it would take eight months wages to feed all of the people that had gathered.
Jesus was quick to reply and ask, well ‘what DO you have available?’ The disciples responded that they had five loaves of bread and two fish…to feed FIVE THOUSAND men!!
I can envision Jesus nonchalantly responding, ‘yep, that will work’. He then directed everyone to be seated, looked towards heaven and gave thanks for the meal as he broke the bread.
EVERYONE had something to eat, and everyone was satisfied (or should we say full)! Afterwards, they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers.
The disciples did NOT have the resources to accomplish the task they were called to. They did not have what they needed to feed 5,000 hungry men. But that was okay.
Jesus wasn’t asking what they didn’t have, He was asking what they did have. And guess what? What they had was enough.
He used what they were able to offer to make an impact and a difference. To leave a lifetime impact on the 5,000 people in attendance.
It wasn’t about what they didn’t have. It was about what they did have. And all that they had was enough to make a lasting impact in the lives of those who they were called to.
We don’t have to stand at the fence, looking in, wishing we had what we needed to get in the race. We can look at what we do have, climb over the fence, and use it to make an impact!
Grace and Peace