What You Invest In, Increases Part 1
Part 1: What You Have Is Enough
I must admit that I love scripture. It’s so rich and with the right eyes and enough research it can change lives.
Although all of it is great, there are a few stories that have been formative in my life.
One of them is the, 'Feeding of the Five Thousand.'
I grew up in a stable family. I didn’t suffer at their hands but it seemed my issues were outside the home.
Friendships were difficult, school was a struggle and well, I didn't like myself that much.
It is possible, because others didn't like me that much either and I was so desperate to be accepted, that I jumped on the bandwagon. But I certainly grew up looking down on myself.
I was never academic enough.
Never popular enough.
Never respected enough.
Never street smart enough.
Never appreciated enough.
But yet something inside me was different.
I knew these feelings weren’t the truth.
As I recall my childhood there is one thing that sticks out in my memory. I felt different. I don't mean flamboyant or, ‘off the wall,’ but something deep down inside of me was calling and I couldn’t turn it off however much I tried.
I was an, ‘out-of-the-box,’ kind of kid.
Reading was difficult.
Maths was difficult.
My goodness, speaking was difficult.
I refused to go through the proper channels for a diagnosis of dyslexia.
I learned different which was tough in my era.
But all this was nothing compared to what I felt sat inside me.
This thing was unique.
It feels like a calmness and strength. A knot that sits deep within that grants feelings of determination. It was as though it was a knowledge that this wasn’t it. That I was enough. That I was useful. That I had a place and a purpose.
Life threw things at me but yet it never wavered. It never gave up hope and it kept me holding on.
For some reading this you may think, 'this girl is nuts!' But there are others, like me, who know exactly what I mean because they feel it too.
The knowing that we were made for something.
All of which are accompanied by unparalleled hope.
A hope that flies in the face of circumstances.
A hope that makes no sense, yet it can't be ignored.
Our body, our senses, our spirit feels like it aches as it waits for the moment when we know, it’s time.
Time for action.
Time for participation.
Time for a miracle.
The time to witness something great.
I want to focus in on a certain person in this story. A person who is often overlooked and isn't even mentioned in all the disciples books that start off the New Testament.
John 6:1- 14 tells the story of Jesus attracting a large crowd that came to hear Him speak of the wonders of God.
The disciples knew the crowd would be hungry and when Jesus delivered the challenge to feed the crowd themselves the disciples began the hunt for whatever they could find amongst the congregation.
Then in verse 8 John records Andrew telling Jesus about finding, “a lad,” with five loaves and two fish and how that can't possibly help feed such a large crowd.
But Jesus did it anyway.
I love this scripture because it speaks to me.
Here we have a boy who gave everything he had for others. But he didn’t sort it out himself. He didn’t share out of his own hands but gave it to Jesus.
He knew what he had wasn’t enough but if Jesus was involved something wonderful would happen. And it did. What he gave, God multiplied and then people’s bellies were filled.
Giving, when God asks for us to be involved, can provide for people something that makes a difference. Something that solves an issue. Something that feeds people.
We can do that.
We can be involved.
When I think of the times I felt so little of myself.
I felt stupid.
I felt disposable.
I felt unworthy.
I felt unwanted.
I felt hopeless.
But yet God used me, and I have seen amazing things in my life and I am sure, if you took some time we could list some things that are great.
Money coming in for a bill.
The lights changing when we are late for work.
Your child having a good day at school.
God is involved in the practical as well as the giant issues we face in life.
This story is a reminder that however little we think we have to offer, Jesus can use it if we want to give it to him.
We don’t need to hide. We don’t need to share out of our own hands. We don’t need to do this by ourselves. We can give to God and let him bless us and a multitude of others at the same time.
I often wondered why the boy was only ever mentioned in the book of John. However every time I feel overlooked or stepped over I am reminded that only one, felt to acknowledge him.
Maybe I don’t get that promotion or someone else says they were responsible for that great idea that I brought up months ago. Maybe I have been overwhelmed with home life and haven’t spoken to anyone in months and I feel like everyone has moved on without me.
Does all this sound relatable?
The story reminds me that someone sees us. Someone realises our worth. It may be one person. They might not be able to rectify others people’s perspectives, but I understand that the desire to be seen is important.
This also humbles me and teaches me that I will not get credit for everything that I do.
The sleepless nights when the little one is sick and then having to excel in our jobs the next day. We won’t get credit.
The countless jobs of being a Mum. We won’t get credit unless maybe it’s Mother’s Day but then does it count when its social protocol does it?
The time we fixed a problem that a work colleague was having which avoided them getting a warning. We won’t get credit.
The idea we teased to friends which was ignored but then when someone else brings it up, it is snapped up in a heartbeat. We won’t get credit.
But someone sees.
I guarantee it.
Even if it’s only God, someone sees.
You are seen!
The boy likely never knew he was recorded in the bestselling book of all time and therefore we won’t always know that our actions, our sacrifices and our gifts are making someone sit up and take notice.
It is easy to become discouraged. Life is unfair and cruel sometimes but when we mix God into the equation we find opportunities for wonder, adventure and chances to change the world for someone else.
When we feel overlooked.
When we feel like we aren’t counted.
When we feel we aren’t appreciated for what we bring and what we give to help others, remember this story.
Remember this boy.
Remember God sees.
Remember God can multiply what we have to give.
It is the story of the five thousand, but remember they only counted the men. Not the women. Not the children.
So even though the number of people helped was recorded as one thing, the participation that this boy had - involved helping way more people.
Our actions, our commitment, our drive to bring good to the world it creates ripples. Let’s not underestimate the hole we fill by our presence here on Earth.
We are meant to be.
We are meant for more.
Wait for the call.
Wait for our time.
Let us prepare and be ready to witness something incredible that God chooses us to be involved in and know that what we invest in, increases.
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Be sure to check out our next article here on ‘The Encouragers Life.’