Monday, February 26, 2007

making do

Life is filled with uncertainties. As well as difficulties encountered, along the way. It's important for us to see the great good that can come out of where we're at and what we have. Instead of focusing on our limitations, we need to find what can be done. And what God may be doing, in our circumstances.

For many of us this "making do" may include scaling down. We might not really need all that we have. We may either need to get rid of it, or share it with those who could use it.

For some of us, we wish for more. Not thinking we have enough to do well enough ourselves, or to do the good we'd like to do for others. This is when we may need to think in terms of "terracing", as in making the most out of what we have. This will take some work and creativity. But it can be done.

We do have something important from God to offer, in Jesus (and to Jesus) for the world. It's likely to be small for most of us. Like the boy with the five loaves and two small fishes. Yet to be faithful and give to God what we have, can make a world of difference in at least someone's life.

What about the widow who had very little, but gave it all? How did the Lord look at her offering? He saw it as much bigger than the larger amounts rich people had thrown in. Because for her, it was all. She gave all she had to live on. I wonder what her vision was of God's kingdom and care for her? Surely Jesus seeing her, was for more than telling us this story. And we need to remember, in love he sees us all, our hearts, thoughts and deeds.

I have been hampered much of my life by looking at my limitations. What I can't do. How I've failed. How I don't measure up to someone else, or others' expectations for me. But we need to lay all that to rest. Simply learning to joyfully make do with what we have from God. And to look for God's hand of blessing through our weak yet sincere offering.

I love the story of the little girl in Africa. After hearing how much Jesus had done for her, she was moved. But she had nothing to give. When they passed the basket around, she asked them to lower it. Then she stepped inside. She wanted to give herself.

As we have that kind of heart attitude, of each day giving ourselves to God, God can help us have the mindset to make do. Make do through the hard times. Make do through the good times. And all that we encounter in this life. To the very end.

What would you like to add here?

8 comments:

andre said...

Ted,

Good post. Part of growth in humility is a sort of self forgetfulness than allows us to step outside what is safe and take some risks. It's paradoxical sometimes - you need some degree of self awareness of your own weaknesses but you also need to "forget" yourself and focus on God.

Charity Singleton said...

I like your point that we have to make do in the good times and in the bad times. In the good times, we often feel as if we're more than "making do." We're prospering. But the Bible warns us as much about the good times as the bad. In the good times we're tempted to think we're doing alright on our own. Making do sees Jesus as work in both of these extremes. And everywhere in between.

Ted Gossard said...

Andre, Great point! The Christian life is full of paradox, too. I think we're put in some difficult circumstances so we can learn to walk by faith in those places. Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

Charity, I agree. Great point. I think the key for us is what you mention, seeing Jesus at work. Or trusting that he is. Thanks.

Alan Knox said...

Ted,

Great post! Just being honest here... I can usually give my "self", but I have a harder time giving my wants and comforts and pleasures. Keep reminding me and others that Jesus demands our all.

-Alan

Ted Gossard said...

Alan, Thanks. Yes. It's in a sense easy to say, "Lord, here I am. Take me." But we soon learn that this does make demands on us we don't necessarily like.

But if we can just realize that this is the life of Jesus in us. Then we can begin to really see that this is the life! And we all know that.

I am glad for the times Jesus would get away with his disciples, and in one case (in Mark, I think), it says he didn't want to be found. But the crowd found him, and he received them.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Not a thing to add-- quite profound.

Ted Gossard said...

Well thanks, Allan. You're being too generous. You could add plenty here, I'm sure.