This past season of my life, however far back that might stretch (a year or so at most), the Lord has done a lot of exposing.
The further I go on in my Christian walk, He slowly peels back more layers to reveal to me my fallen nature-- ugly, coarse, and falling so short of His glory.
It's been a really good learning, and the Bible tells us to have a humble heart, to realize our unworthiness, to realize our salvation was a gift in the first place, and that anything good that ever happens is from the Lord, not out of our own strength and doing. But shining light on my failures and short comings.....whew, it's been a rough season, people.
Lately, however, I've been feeling incredibly inadequate, more so than usual, and it's gotten to a point where I almost feel paralyzed by it. This summer, a lot happened in my own personal life, and I've been trying to find my place back home again after spending 5 years away at Syracuse. Not only that, but I'm on the brink of entering a year of 100% dedication to the Lord, serving Him, serving the Church, loving Him, loving the Church. I have no idea what to expect, and I know it's going to be awesome...but these past few weeks, however, I couldn't help but wonder how I'm going to make it through. There are so many people to care of, so many needs in the Church that have yet to be met, so much more growth to happen in my own walk with the Lord....How can I do it all?
The Lord answered with a really simple word: "Hannah, you can't.....But I can."
He reminded me of the story when He was a man on this earth, and He went away to spend some alone time in the countryside. He managed to get away for awhile, but a huge crowd of thousands of people followed Him on foot and managed to find where He had gone off to. (Facing this next year, I feel like Jesus looking off into the distance seeing a ginormous crowd of people coming towards Him over the horizon...)
The crowd was exhausted and hungry and needy. There were far too many of them to be adequately cared for. And then Jesus asked His disciples to FEED them. There were 5,000 men, and at least an additional 5,000 women and children, probably more!!! And all they had were 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. The small contribution the disciples made was totally inadequate. Yet the Lord took the little they had to offer.
And then, two amazing things happen....
First, He holds the loaves and the fish, and saying a blessing, He breaks them.
And then, giving the pieces back to the disciples to distribute, He multiplies them.
By the end of the evening, every single person in that place had their fill. And not only did every single person in the crowd of thousands receive food, but there were leftovers!!!! TWELVE basket-fulls to be exact!
I feel I may have a small loaf and a teeny tiny little fish to offer to the Lord. And maybe that's giving myself too much credit. But one thing I'm sure of is despite my shortness, if I offer everything I have, however small that may be, HE will do the multiplying. And every need will be met.
What's also interesting is that the offering was broken first, and only then could it be multiplied.
So my prayer is that out of my inadequacy and out of being broken, the Lord would multiply His love, His strength, His mercy, His supply, and ultimately, Himself through me towards all those who will surround me this coming year.