If you missed Week 1: The Prophets, of this Advent Devotional Series, you can READ IT HERE.
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Ever felt like you have nothing left to give? That feeling always tends to wash over me when I see the subject line “meal train.” You’ve probably gotten those texts and emails before…”so and so and such and such just had a baby or are recovering from surgery let’s bless them with meals” and do you know what I think everytime….”not another one!” #embarressingconfession…
I wish I didn’t think that right away. However, making dinner is my least favorite part of the day, every one of my children have inherited my “hangry” gene (Hangry=Hunger making you Angry).
We’re just a house full of grumpy people around 4 until 5 or 6 ish when I finally muddle my way through whatever sort of dinner disaster awaits me that day: forgot an ingredient, didn’t defrost the chicken, forgot to wash the insta-pot but didn’t realize it until the sauté function was on and has incinerated the remains of week old onion and garlic filling our house with the tantalizing aroma often found in…. dumpsters.
Surely, I am not the only one who has these sort of faith building moments everyday? Akin to the boy with 2 loaves and 3 fishes, I am the top knottin’ Mama with partially defrosted chicken and a pot of simmering fungi, needing a miracle of provision.
Its amazing how many miracles in my house start with the words, “Papa Johns”
This could be the reason I have some meal train anxiety.
But I keep signing up, I keep showing up…imperfect dinner in hand. Sometimes its delivered late with a van full of screaming kids, sometimes my kids may have watched 1…or like 3 episodes of paw patrol so I could get it done but I am giving what I can give, even when it doesn’t seem like much.
A supporting character in the Christmas story, may have felt a little like me on meal train nights.
Read: Luke 2: 1-7
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when[a]Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
I wonder how the Innkeeper felt that day? Overwhelmed by an inn filled to max capacity with tierd and hungry travelers far from home.
How many doors did Joseph knock on while Mary sat on a donkey screaming “its time, its really time, Its not just indigestion this time – this baby is coming!”
We don’t know the details of how Mary and Joseph ended up in the stable behind Bethlehem’s Motel 6, but we do know that someone had to say, “ I will find a place for you” Someone was moved with compassion and said “I don’t have much to offer, but I will give what I can.”
That simple decision to give even when it seemed like there was nothing to give, became the backdrop for the most important birth in human history.
What if the Innkeeper had said “no, I just can’t…I have nothing to give” No one would have questioned his honest appraisal of his situation.
But God is not bound by human capacity or our finite understanding of limits.
God constantly defies what we think is possible and proves that if we will just give Him what we have, we’ll see the miraculous.
Read: Luke 19:13-17
But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
Ask God: What are my loaves and fishes? Where do I feel like I have nothing or little to give?
Ask God: What are you asking me to give this Christmas season, Time? Money? Forgiveness? Service? Hospitality? Presence?
Surrender and Trust: Pray this prayer: God, I surrender to you. I trust that as I give even from my own place of need that you will abundantly provide for me!
Action Step: What did God ask you to give this Christmas season? Give it away with joy and expectation, because you know that He will provide everything you need for what He is asking you to do!