Discerning Our Fish and Loaves

Image result for stock photo free loaves

I am pretty mediocre... but don't deny me my self-awareness.

I'm not in amazing physical shape, but I'm fairly healthy.

I don't have any extraordinary talents. I am mostly average in all of the ways. My dinners are usually edible, but never anything that leaves our guests clamoring for a recipe. 

I can't sing or play an instrument.

I think I'm average height and weight. Or pretty close to that.

I'm just... average.

There are a lot of times I wished I had gone ahead and pursued a career in the medical field so I could really help people... had a skill that was legitimately beneficial after a natural disaster. Or, that I had taken some sort of music lessons, so I could bless others in that arena. 

The other day, I told my husband that, had I known I would grow up to be a homeschooling mom, I would have invested my time in cooking classes and sewing classes... or maybe even learned how to cut hair.

Something to make ME feel useful. Because it's all about how I feel, right? I have a tendency to be pretty utilitarian when I think about my abilities and my day... sort of like Thomas the Train. We all just want to be useful, right?

But something tells me that when a little boy arrived with his lunchbox for a day-long sermon with God in the flesh, he didn't think much about his usefulness. I imagine he wasn't crazy strong, an amazing orator, super trendy, or quick-witted. He took the lunch that he packed (or well, let's be honest, his mom probably packed it) and simply showed up. And, when people were hungry, he saw a need and met it (John 6:1-14).

You guys, I very regularly see needs. We all do. There's a mom with a tiny baby and an active toddler in my life and, when I didn't know what else to do, I told her to drop off her toddler. Because that's what I had. It felt so small... but she expressed so much gratitude, that I realized it actually went significantly further than I imagined.

There are people who need to be heard. People who need their home cleaned. People who could use a warm meal. So many needs... even in the western world where most of us don't have many legitimate physical needs.... needs abound.

Yet, I very regularly find myself wishing I were made differently so I could meet needs. But, if I am thinking about this little boy with his lunch of fish and loaves, he just handed it over, and trusted God. 

So, in my life, how can I discern my fish and loaves?

  • Look around. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few. There are enough people passing the buck along. We as believers need to see needs and meet them. Take initiative.
  • Give what we have. The Lord has uniquely equipped each and every one of us to be a vital part of the Body. We are all a necessary and integral part of furthering His kingdom. That means, none of us are really "average."
  • Trust the One who called us. If He is showing you a need, He will be faithful with your own fish and loaves. He will bless it. Your offering might seem meager, much like the poor widow tossing in her two copper coins, but it has potential to have eternal effects.
  • Stay in your lane. The Lord has put amazingly gifted people in your life and in mine. I have friends who are skilled surgeons, friends who are talented musicians, friends who are gifted writers and speakers. That's not anything that describes me. But if I am spending my time looking around at how the Lord has gifted others, I am going to overlook the ways He has blessed me, so that I can bless others.
  • Oh, yes. It's for blessing others. Galatians 5 says it is for freedom we have been set free... and that freedom? It's for the purpose of blessing others. Ephesians 2 says we are the Lord's workmanship... so that we can do the works He has prepared for us. He doesn't call us and gift us so we can sit on the hillside, eating our own lunch while others are hungry.
I mean this as an encouragement... that you can bless others because the Lord has called you and equipped you. Not as a reminder of another way you aren't measuring up. Look at your own life and see the small ways you can extend service and mercy to those around you... because we have been served so well by the Creator who made us.

What are some fish and loaves in your own life?


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