The Beauty of our Offering

This is the first installment of my blog and it is my offering. I bring it in obedience to Him, and this must remain my focus. Otherwise, my perfectionism will keep me from ever posting. I am convinced that He is worthy of all that I have and all that I am. And the beauty found in His desire stuns me.

Several years ago I wanted to quit the ministry. I had reached a place of weariness and discouragement that my normal ‘pull up your bootstraps’ resolve couldn’t touch. I was feeling profoundly misunderstood and even judged … and it was by people I greatly loved and respected. More than that, it was by people that I had poured my life into for many years.

I remember sitting in my office preparing for an upcoming message and being so distracted by the pain (which I could physically feel in my chest). I threw my head on the desk, and demanded for my complaint to be heard by the Lord. I told Him how I felt about injustice found in the context of friendship as well as the blatant disregard of my offerings. In His mercy, the Lord led me to the passage of scripture found in John 6:1-14, which records the account of the feeding of the 5000. After I read it, I heard the Lord tell me to close my eyes (I think that He was walking me through my own inner healing session). As soon as I did, it was like I was transported to the scene of what I just read …

I could see the boy who gave all that he had—5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. I could see the food being miraculously distributed to the thousands gathered there. I could see Jesus teaching an attentive audience (as a result of their full and satisfied bellies). I could see the ‘meeting’ coming to an end and the people getting up to return to their homes. I could see the people walking on top of the ‘leftover’ crumbs that had fallen to the ground. I could see the expression on the boy’s face as he observed this, and it was as if I could hear this little boy’s thoughts, “They are walking on top of the crumbs because the meal cost them nothing. But those remaining morsels cost ME EVERYTHING.”

I started to weep as I related to the boy’s maltreatment. Right then, I heard the voice of Jesus sound within the scene— “Gather the pieces, and see to it that NOTHING IS WASTED.”

I began weeping all the more at the revelation of how Jesus handles our offering, especially in the juxtaposition of human response. Here’s the bottom line—in the kingdom of God, nothing is wasted. Even when others forget or disregard our sacrifice, He always sees.

Now, check out what verse 13 says— “So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.” Fragments from the 5 barley loaves filled twelve baskets. This could only happen in God’s economy. Let me leave you with three ‘take-aways’—

1) We must inquire of the Lord in the midst of our pain, because knowledge
    of the truth will always set us free.
2) Our offerings must be unto God, not people.
3) When we give what we have to God (even when it is fragmented), we will
    finish with more than we had when we started.

Rest assured, the hardships of ministry, of relationships, and of life can still make me want to lay my head on my desk and quit, but He realigned my perspective with His that day and He is constantly bringing me back to remember that not one offering unto HIM will ever be wasted. He sees. He sees it all. And He gathers it close to His heart.

Evan GladstoneComment