Friday, September 29, 2017

abundant bread

by Alanna

I feel that maybe I have written this post before, because I know it's not a new lesson that God is teaching me. But no matter. It will help remind me to put it down again. I was feeling a little desperate the other day and opened the Bible to just anywhere. Landed on John 6; a huge crowd of people is following Jesus around.  Hard for me to imagine that size crowd- 5,000 men.  Jesus asks Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" Which I laugh at because Jesus already knows what He is going to do.  But Philip's answer sounds like mine so often. There isn't any way to get bread for all these people. Even a huge sum of money wouldn't suffice.  Basically, it's hopeless.  I feel like this sometimes in my house, even though I'm feeding only 4 other people. 

There's not enough of me.  This one needs a spanking but I think he also needs some concentrated mommy time.  Maybe a snuggle in the rocking chair with his favorite blanket.  That one needs me to listen to her long story about her teddy bear, and help her take care of him and four other toy animals in her pretend nursery.  They both need lunch because I suspect this is why they are getting cranky in general.  The husband could use lunch too, since he's been working 14 hour days lately and is probably tired.  The baby wants to nurse and needs me to also change his poop and clean the spit-up that he is rubbing around on the floor with his tummy as he crawls off to chew on something he probably shouldn't be.  I know my bathroom needs to be cleaned.  I wonder if there is iced tea in the fridge for my husband, and when I will find time to make some if not. And on and on it goes.

I always feel guilty for what I am not doing well.  Today I complained, and asked aloud why God gave me so many roles if I can't do them all well. Something has to give- the house, the cooking, shopping frugally, being a friend, loving my husband well, patience with my children, my own sanity.  But the truth is that there is always enough time in a day to do the things that God wants us to do.  There is always enough time.  Just not enough of me.

So I relate to this boy in the story.  The one who gives his five barley loaves and two fish.  A tiny ridiculous offering in the face of 5000 hungry men.  This is all he has.  And he gives it all.  But Jesus accepts it, and "when He had given thanks", He distributed it to all the people.  The truth is, I don't have to have enough.  Because Jesus is always enough.  How many times do I have to be reminded of this before I will understand?  All I have to do is hold out what I have to Him. All of it, in thanksgiving.  And trust that He will make it enough.  That it won't matter what doesn't get done around here.  God knows what these people in my life need.  My job is to speak thanksgiving, open my hands, and give my all.  God's job is to do the rest.

Then this evening I read the same story in one of the kids' bible storybooks.  And this version pointed out how even the little boy who had offered the loaves was satisfied.  In the end he also had more than enough.  I believe that this is true. That if we offer all we have in thanksgiving, to Jesus- and thus through Him to our kids, to our friends, to our husbands, to our families, to the world, that we will not be empty.  Jesus will take our tiny ridiculous portion, and with His incredible power He will fill not just those around us, but us too. And we too will be satisfied.