This weekend, I had the honor of attending our annual Fields of Dreams Uganda board meeting. Every time a board member mentioned a child or staff member that I know in Uganda, my heart longed to return. However, a few things prevent me from returning at this time - I have no more vacation days, I have family responsibilities, and I have work obligations.
Because I cannot return to Uganda, I am discouraged. Each time I look on Facebook, I see friends that are saving children from human trafficking, I see people that are doing amazing projects to impact their community, and I see people who are bringing world change. This makes my heart ache because my passion is to help others - to empower girls, to love children.
When I am on a short term trip, I am able to live this passion every day; however, when I am home, living my day to day life, I often wonder what I am really doing to change my small world.
We often mistakenly believe that the only impact we have on the world is through "big" life events, such as a mission trip or serving on a large community project. However, our God is the God of multiplication, and he can take the smallest, seemingly insignificant events and turn them into life-changing moments.
Both Matthew and Mark share the story of Jesus and his disciples feeding thousands. Jesus had been preaching, and many people were following him. He saw that they had not eaten for days, and he decided to feed them. Jesus said, "I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 15:32-39 (NIV)
Jesus took a small, seemingly insignificant offering of a few loaves of bread and a fish, and he was thankful. Then he multiplied the small amount that was freely given to feed thousands.
As I live through a very busy season of my life, balancing motherhood, work, and my faith, I often discount the small, seemingly insignificant acts of service because I think they are meaningless. By my power alone, encouragement to a friend or a smile at a stranger may be irrelevant and insignificant, but in the hands of our God of multiplication, the smallest act can be life changing.
I am not able to spend each day serving at a soup kitchen or shelter, but I do have time to say a kind word to a patient I encounter at the hospital. I am not able to travel to Uganda again this year to empower young girls, but my daughter and her friends can always use words of empowerment. I may not be able to visit the sweet children in Mexico City this year, but I can encourage my son to continue to write to his friends, and I can pray for them.
I need to be reminded that even the smallest gifts can be life changing in the hands of our God - because God is the God of multiplication.
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