It seems to me that our world seemingly finds itself in greater need than are resources. If you have been tasked with the ministry of giving, like me, perhaps you find yourself a bit overwhelmed, and very aware that your tiny COVID-19 response is so small, and almost too embarrassing to give to those whose needs are so much greater than all your best efforts to supply.
Even worse, perhaps some of you have experienced what I have. You have presented 1 kilogram of sugar to a family of 6 that needs so much more than your meager gift, and they in frantic despair have pointed out the obvious to you, “Madame, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but how do you expect me to feed my family on just this?”
And you go away with mixed feelings. Should you continue to make this very small gift available, or feel ashamed and embarrassed that you have so little to give, and unable to meet a need so vast?
Well, this morning as I pray for all the people that I wish I could bless with so much, I am grateful for the witness of the Holy Spirit, that calms me and reminds me to submit my smallest gift to God, and look to Him to use it to present more than I ever can. Beyond sweetening tea, and giving that much needed energy to a hungry body, I pray that God would add His value and unfailing fragrance of hope, peace and love to a small gift that demonstrating expressed care and concern. Long after the sugared tea has been digested and wasted, I pray that the warm feeling of hope will linger much longer in each fearful heart.
And so I sing on, because I too have experienced these mixed feelings – as often I come to God’s table, asking for more, demanding for more even, before I express gratitude for what He has already done for me. It’s not that I do not appreciate my Fathers expressed love and care for me. It’s that I am too over burdened by the fear and doubt concerning tomorrow needs, my gaze, transfixed on tomorrow’s giants, skips over today’s supply placed in my hands now.
But my Father knows and sees all this, and loves me deeply still in this experience of my mine – needing to believe and hope on Him, whose unfailing love is already much greater than ever a need I can present Him with.
Soon enough, soon enough, His Spirit will teach my heart, to praise and thank Him as I ought. Soon enough!
For today, I thankfully acknowledge this:
“Weak is the effort of my heart, And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art, I’ll praise Thee as I ought.”
Are you a minister today? More overwhelmed by lack than the awareness of God’s surplus to provide for the needs of those you serve and the world over? Be encouraged. Keep serving. Do not grow weary of expressing love, care and concern. There is a much greater force at work behind each phone call you make, each small need you help meet – soon enough, soon enough … Loves great tide building up now, will steadies us all, to keep fear away, to sooth tired hearts and minds, to cause us to sing yet another happy chorus.
As it is, you haven’t been called to do all. You have been called to BE all.
I pray you will enjoy and medicate on the words of this hymn, and be strengthened to BE in Christ Jesus.
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds | John Newton
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.
It makes the wounded spirit whole
And calms the troubled breast;
’Tis manna to the hungry soul,
And to the weary, rest.
Dear Name! the Rock on which I build,
My Shield and Hiding Place,
My never-failing Treas’ry filled
With boundless stores of grace!
Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,
My Prophet, Priest, and King;
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End,
Accept the praise I bring.
Weak is the effort of my heart,
And cold my warmest thought;
But when I see Thee as Thou art,
I’ll praise Thee as I ought.
Till then I would Thy love proclaim
With every fleeting breath,
And may the music of Thy name
Refresh my soul in death.