Much Out of Little

Let’s be honest: we all feel, at least once in a while, not good enough. We easily fall short of the love we promised our spouse, we quickly lose our temper with our children, we fail to keep in touch with dear friends, we find it easier to criticize than praise our church family and we are more absent than present in our larger community. Maybe you don’t fall short, but I know I do. And I really don’t like it. I beat myself up every time I come face to face with my flaws. Exasperated, I wonder if I’ll ever do better. The problem is that, when I get so focused on what’s wrong, I forget what is right. I forget that many other times, I do love my wife well, I do show up for my kids, I do remember my friends, I do celebrate the wonderful diversity in my church community and my eyes, heart and hands are increasingly opened to the needs of my city.

What does this all mean? It means that my offerings, my efforts, all I have to give, is small. Like five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed thousands. It isn’t nothing, but it certainly is not enough. It is nothing but a small offering, in and of itself insufficient to feed a starving multitude. On my own, no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to give those around me what they really need.

Thankfully, I am not the only one who loves my wife, my children, my friends, my church and my city! I am not alone in caring for my community. Jesus is standing beside me, asking me to give Him my five loaves and two fishes. Insufficient as they are, He welcomes them. Why? Because He can do much out of little. Just like He fed five thousand people with the lunch of a boy, He can love and feed your community, beginning with your own home, with what you give Him. The only requirement is that you quit trying to love those around you on your own. Jesus is waiting, asking you to give Him the little you have, so that He can do what only He can do with it.

When we let God make much out of our little, imperfect loves, we can make Paul’s words ours: “But He said to me, My grace is sufficient to you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Happy Valentines' Day!!

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