Just Use What You Have

Vol. 19 No. 22 | May 28, 2017

Imagine you are one of the disciples of Jesus. You have been following Him for a while and watched Him heal countless people. You have gone on many missions with Him, seen Him show compassion to those who needed it, and watched throngs of people gather just to hear Him speak.

Another gathering is taking place and you realize that it is getting late, so you suggest to Him that it is time to quit for the day. You have learned from His example to be show empathy and compassion for people. You know you are hungry and tired, so you suggest to Jesus to let His followers return home to have a meal and rest. .

To your surprise Jesus has another idea. ‘Then let’s feed them,’ Jesus says.

“What, feed them all? But how? There are thousands of people here, and all we have is a couple of fish and a little bread”.

“Give me have what you have,” he replies.

Suddenly, there are enough baskets of fish and bread to feed everyone in the crowd as much and they want. You and the other disciples begin collecting what is left and are amazed to discover that there are twelve baskets left- exactly enough for you and the other eleven disciples to eat your fill. You all look at each other in complete awe and ask, “What just happened?”

Jesus smiles.

You may not have experienced anything as dramatic as feeding thousands of people with one man’s lunch, but you have experienced a time when you were baffled by something miraculous that happened, only to sense God saying, “Just use what you have.” You look around at your options and finally come up with what seems to be a ridiculous idea, only to watch in awe as God turns it into something beautiful and miraculous.

You and your spouse are at the end of your rope. You are both unhappy and beyond miserable. Your communication has diminished to endless arguments, followed by long periods of uncomfortable silence and distance. One day, after yet another fight, you look at each other and admit that it is time to ask for help, or to give up. And then you hear His words, “Just use what you have.” So, you agree to make one more attempt to salvage your relationship and contact a counselor your friend recommended. Six months later, after a lot of hard work, you are seeing positive results. A year later, after even more work and a lot of prayer, you cannot believe how much better your relationship is. All you had to work with was a desire to make things work and faith in your ability to use what you have.

You have a major project due. Every time you sit down at your desk to start working, you are overwhelmed by the enormity of it. You finally slam down your fist and push away your chair in frustration. You are ready to give up when you hear a voice, “Just use what you have.” You sit back down, put your fingers back on your keyboard, and start with just one sentence. And then you write another. The ideas begin to flow effortlessly, and in matter of hours, your project is finished.

You have friend who you know is struggling. You do not know all the details, but you know something is wrong. You want to help, but you are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. So you pray and hear the words, “Just use what you have.” What you know you have is a compassionate heart and the ability to listen. That is all your friend needed, he just needed someone to listen. And he begins to share his story.

The paraphrase of Luke 9:10-17 and the three stories above are just a few examples of what can happen when you decide to use what the Lord has given you to approach a problem. It may seem impossible in the face of what confronts you, but in the hands of Jesus, it will always be transformed.

If you are facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle that stands in your way of helping someone, improving your own situation, or seeing a dream come true, try this. Take what you have, hand it over to the Lord, and say, “I only have this, but here it is.”

God loves it when you do this. In fact, He is probably waiting right now, ready to take whatever you have to hand over to Him and transform it into something beautiful and miraculous. 

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017 Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.

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