Sometimes there’s not enough of me to go around.
The kids need help. A loved one dies. The dryer breaks, or the car. Taxes are due and a deadline zooms and no, I can’t possibly help you today. My own needs are too great … I’m stretched as far as I can go.
Sometimes there’s not enough of me for you.
What would Jesus do?
I feel like Jesus must have felt when he set off for a lonely place to grieve after John the Baptist was killed. He’d just lost a dear friend and cousin. He needed that time alone. But crowds of people followed, begging for his help, and his compassion was so great that he set aside his needs to tend to theirs.
Could I do that? I’m not so sure. My need tends to overwhelm compassion. I relate better to the disciples who were with Jesus, who told him to call it day and send the people away (see Matthew 14:15).
Jesus, however, used that clamoring need to teach his disciples a lesson: “They don’t have to go away,” he said. “Take care of them.”
“Bring me what you have.”
You know what he did: he took their meager dinner, held it up to heaven, blessed it – and then broke it up. Again and again he tore the loaves and cut the fish and by the end, an enormous crowd was fed and there was more left over than they had at the start.
Not enough was more than they needed!
Think of that: in the breaking, there was increase.
After breaking, there was more.
Am I willing to put my meager, insufficient self in Jesus’s hands? I want to hold myself together; to stand up whole and self-sufficient and solve the needs around me. I don’t want to break and I don’t want you to see me broken.
But it was from those broken pieces that Jesus fed the crowds. Nothing was lost in the end, but more was left. “And all were satisfied”!
With Jesus, broken pieces feed and heal
Hear what God says in Isaiah 58:10:
If you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
Lord, I give you the inadequate pieces of my life. Thank you for what you have given me! Please take my broken pieces in your compassionate hands and help me respond to the needs around me.
©2020 Sarah Christmyer.
This post was originally published January 9, 2015. It was revised July 17, 2020.
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