Offer Yourself, not Excuses

One of my favorite miracles that Jesus did was to feed the 5000. You can find it in Matthew 14:15-21. Jesus had just gone away from everyone because he found out his cousin, John the Baptist, had just been murdered. Even in a remote place, people who were looking for Jesus found Him. He didn’t send them away or tell them to let Him grieve in peace. Instead, He had compassion on them and ministered to them.

At the end of the day, the disciples came to Him and told Him to send the people away to find something to eat because it was late and they were in a barren place. Jesus looked at them and said, “They don’t need to leave. You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have nothing, but these 5 loaves and 2 fish.” He then said, “Bring them to me.” He broke the bread and fish and fed the 5000 with it.

All around us every day are people who are in a barren place. They are hungry spiritually. They are looking for Jesus. What do we do about it? Many of us pray for them. Some us hope God will put someone in their lives to show them the way. I think God looks back at us and says, “You feed them.” Too often we think we are incapable of feeding them. We look back at God and say, “I don’t have anything to give except this little bit. They need more than I have to give.”

I wonder if we frustrate God or if He just laughs sometimes at our lack of faith and trust in Him. If you feel like you have nothing to give to someone else, you are mistaken. God doesn’t care how little or how much you have. What He cares about is are you willing to give. God can take your little and multiply it. You just have to put it in His hands and trust Him with it.

After the disciples gave the food to Jesus, He broke it and blessed it. In order for God to multiply you to help many, you have to be broken. The more you allow God to break you, the more He can use you. When you are broken, you only have Him to rely on. When you have been broken, only then can you relate to others who are broken. It’s in our brokenness that God shows Himself to us the most. Many of us fight being broken because it hurts and we don’t want to go through the difficult times. When you fight it or avoid it, you limit what God can do with you. The amount to which God can use you depends on the amount you are willing to be broken.

Once you have been broken and blessed (yes it is a blessing to be broken), you must give of yourself. Jesus wasn’t the one who fed the crowds. He told the disciples to. You must take the broken pieces of your life and give them to others. It’s not His job to do it. It’s yours. The disciples noticed the crowd was hungry, not Jesus. We too must notice when others are hurting and hungry and give of ourselves. You may not have 5000 people who need a piece of you right now, but I guarantee there’s at least one. When you learn to give to one, God can then start to use you to help many.

When you see someone in your life who needs a touch from God, be willing to offer yourself to God to help them. Don’t complain that you can’t do it or that you don’t have anything to offer. You do. You have a certain skill set that no one else has. You have certain experiences that no one else has. You may be the only person who can reach them, feed them or help them, but you must be willing to put your life in God’s hands. You must be willing to be broken and given out. At the end of the miracle, Jesus sent the disciples back out to gather up the leftovers and there were baskets full. If you will give God your little, He’ll use you and multiply that little until you are overflowing.

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