I have moments when I feel an internal intensity so strong that I think I’m bordering on a Hulk experience. But a different kind of Hulk. Not an angry Hulk, like the one we’re all familiar with, though I’m certainly not exempt from that after a few sleepless nights, courtesy of my toddler. No, a converted Hulk who holds the tension between a desire so strong to give God everything, yet doesn’t always know how to give him everything. I mean...
What is “everything?”
What am I doing? How do I do it? To quote a funny gal I once knew, “Where are we going and will there be snacks?”
In these moments, the emotion seems to be enlarging me beyond normal human proportions. Unfortunately, it is not, so I can’t blame that extra COVID 10-pounds on some weird physical transformation.
Rather, the emotion is focusing me on my need for Christ, because in the next inhale, I see how inadequate my “everything” is.
My offering is humble. I don’t know that it can produce much for this great big world sinking in suffering and untruth. My reach isn’t far. My abilities are finite. My resources are limited.
I believe this assessment is fair and accurate.
But, the Spirit is kind to remind me of another accurate statement. This one is found in scripture, the place to constantly return to for truth. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
It’s not that my everything is enough because my everything is incalculably great.
My everything is enough because he is so great.
He takes the humblest offerings and makes them plentiful.
Do you know the story of the seven loaves and two fish? Jesus turns a meal for a small family into a feast for over 5,000 men, women, and children (Matthew 14:13-21).
How about the water into wine account? Most people enjoy this one, in which Jesus kept the party going during what would have otherwise been an embarrassing wedding situation (John 2:1-11).
My personal favorite is the time he told Simon, his disciple, to lower his fishing net into the water, despite having fished hard all night and catching nothing at all. The net returned so full, they had to call for backup to help pull it in. Even with both boats sharing the wealth, everyone began to sink from the weight (Luke 5:1-11).
In the first example, Jesus uses a meager amount of food and a willingness to pass it out to the crowd to create significant impact. In the second example, he uses water in stone jars and a willingness to follow his instructions. In the third example, he literally uses nothing other than willingness to cast the net, which turned into an almost cartoonish amount of fish.
The common denominator: willingness to listen to him.
That’s all I need to have. A willing heart position and a knowledge of his voice.
P.S.A. Don’t forget the second part. You can’t be willing to listen to him, yet not know what he sounds like. If you’re not sure where to start on hearing the voice of God, click the above hyperlinked scripture references to get to know him, and if you’re able, invest in this translation. Proper biblical interpretation will be my passion until I die, so please reach out if you need any help getting started!
So, when I feel that internal tension between desire and inadequacy, I remember these biblical accounts and instead feel a combination of rest and motivation. Contradictory as these two words may sound, I am at rest because I know what I can and cannot do on my own, and I accept my limitations. I am motivated because I know what he can do with my efforts, if I am willing to give him full reign. To give him everything.
Heart, soul, mind, my very being. Everything.
There are challenges. But this decision is so exciting, because:
His version of multiplication is way better than any math I’ve ever done.
Have you witnessed a miracle of multiplication in your own life? For example, was there ever a time you didn’t think you had enough (time, energy, resources), and yet, when the moment arrived, you did?
When you think about giving God your heart, soul, and mind, do you feel any resistance to that proposition? Why, or what do you think that is about?
What does it mean to hear God’s voice? How have you heard him speak to you in the past?