When I look back a few decades and what I felt I had to offer at age 15, it feels much like the young boy’s lunch that Jesus used. Do you know that story? When Jesus asked his closest associates to feed a crowd of thousands, the disciples said all they had was a young boy’s lunch of five loves of bread and two fish. Yet Jesus took that small offering from the boy and not only fed 5,000 men and even more women and children, but the disciples then collected enough food left over to fill twelve baskets. (See John 6:1-13).
From my view, I don’t feel that gifted. There are leaders much more relational, compassionate, better communicators, more visionary and more accomplished than myself. If I look at others and let that determine what I do, I’ll miss what God wants to do through me, and therefore miss the blessings God wants to send my way. God doesn’t hold any of us accountable for what He’s not given us, but He does with what He has given us.
As a high school sophomore, a visit to the principal’s office wasn’t considered a good thing. But he paged me. I went. Principal Glen Roth told me he saw potential in me. He wondered if I had ever thought about becoming a pastor. I had not. I was planning to follow the family tradition of being an Oregon grass-seed farmer. But something changed from that day forward.
God was asking for my tiny lunch. It wasn’t much at all. But from that day forward, I began to listen for and I heard a call to pastoral ministry. I really didn’t think I had much to offer. It was a tiny lunch of just a few loaves and a couple fish, but I was willing to offer it to the Master.
It was another decade long while I discerned the call and made the educational preparations, but at age 25, I started living out that call. Now, 35 years later I’m watching the multiplication of my tiny lunch unfold before my eyes. Thousands of hungry folks are being fed the Bread of Life (John 6:48-51). Homes are being healed. A city is being transformed.
The little bit that I offered up and invested into others over the years is feeding and changing more lives than I could have imagined as a teenager. I’ve learned to never underestimate what God can do with the tiny crumbs we offer him. He will take it and multiply it for exponential impact. To God be all thanks and glory!
What is God asking you to offer to Him today? Is there something in your time, talent or treasure that He wants you to give so He can change the world around you? What’s keeping you from giving Him your lunch? And by the way, thanks Glen for sharing your “tiny lunch” with me 45 years ago!
QUESTION: What stories of multiplication do you have to share with others? We would love to hear it in the comment section.