I have so little; what are these among so many?
Perhaps you have found yourself taxed with these questions:
What is the value of what I have among so many? Of what value are my talents, skills, knowledge, among so many?
A million youths and more are out on the streets in search of employment: young men and women with better qualifications from prestigious institutions. Of what use my CVs and applications among so many; what are the chances of being chosen?
Hair dresser, bead maker, singer, actor, seamstress, everyone seems to be the doing the same thing. What relevance my training? The odds are stacked mountain high against me. I know no one who could connect me.
I have just a little capital, but what is that against such huge dreams and visions?
Well, you are not alone in this dilemma.
Once upon a time there was a little boy whose dream was to feed his people. They were hungry he saw, having gone three days without food. He had a great burden, he had a willing heart. His resources were, however, non-existent. All he had was food enough for him alone. Though he had a dream to feed 5000 men, and more women and children than he could count, all he had was five loaves of bread and two fish.
You’re kidding, right? Five loaves and two fish to feed a multitude? Even in the realm of probability, this was impossible.
As the story goes, not only was the multitude well fed, he was able to gather twelve full baskets of leftovers (John 6:1-14)
How did the young boy go from just a little to more than enough? Was it just an off the charts miracle or was there perhaps something more at play?
Of course there was; life is lived on principles and it is the knowledge and right application of these principles that produce exceptional results. The scripture is littered with testimonies of people who had little less than enough but who encountered abundance and overflow.
We can be like the little boy, too. The resources we possess – gifts/talents/money – no matter how small can yield a harvest of abundance.
Here are a few lessons/principles to be learnt from the little boy who desired his gifts to make more impact than he was capable of:
- Give your resource/gift back to its Maker.
The little boy had his meal; as long as it remained his, he could have been personally content. But then he took it a step further. He gave the food back to the one who made it (Jireh, the Provider) to be used for His own good purpose.
Until we release our gifts back into the hands of God, they will never have the impact that they ought to have. Releasing your gift, of course, doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility for its nurturing and growth; it is simply the acknowledging of God as your source and trusting in His guidance on how best to manifest your gift. God desires willing submission not forced surrender.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, declares Solomon, and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6)
- Serve your gift.
It’s that simple. The little boy served his gift, and got the reward of multiplication. As you may have discovered, there are a million and one people who possess something similar to what you already have. The competition is stiff, the fight to the top brutal. It would, therefore, be terribly unwise to hoard your abilities.
The little’s boy’s secret to abundance can therefore be summarized in one word: service – service to God and service to others. First, he gave to God and then he gave to others.
In the end, that was all that was needed for the impact he sought.
Do not make yourself the best kept secret waiting for others to discover you. Instead, be discovered in the place of service. Had the little boy kept the meal to himself, he could have been satisfied for a moment, only a moment. But, once he submitted it in service, to be used not for himself alone, he gained more than enough for many moments to come.
That, in essence, is the gist of the matter.
Service counts you in and not out.
Service ensures there is an overflow; no man makes himself a channel who will not himself be watered.
Service opens doors of opportunities and partnerships.
Service is simply the complete, willing, expression of who we are in honour of our Creator and Father.
So . . . the next time you begin to wonder and to worry about the relevance of what you have, compared to others, and how best you can attain significance, then know that true significance and relevance is seen in the value we add to the lives of others.