thanks·giv·ing noun

1: the act of giving thanks

2: a prayer expressing gratitude

3: a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness

 

I want to be careful not to use this Blog post to only serve my purposes.  Whenever I write something, it’s easy for me to focus on our story or our intentions.  At times that’s necessary and appropriate but this issue happens to be about something different.

Before Jesus feed the 5000 he instructed his disciples to find something for them to eat.  All they could come up with was a boy’s lunch.  I’m not sure why they brought that small meal to him but by their response it’s pretty clear that they knew it wouldn’t be enough. Now that I think of it, I wonder what the boy had to say in the matter or what his parents might have thought or said.  I’m pretty sure what it would have sounded like today; “let him get his own lunch –  that one is for me!”  All right, not everyone would have reacted that way, I’m sure some would have willingly given up their lunch for the Master.

I am reasonably sure that the throng of followers that day included some pretty well off people as well as a number who were in need.  Some may not have known were their next meal would come from.  None the less, I don’t think any of them expected that by following Jesus out to the country for a day of teaching and healing included a meal.  Today the biggest crowds seem to gather when there is a meal provided.  On this particular day a massive crowd gathered with no expectation of a meal what so ever.

 

What Jesus did next is what I want to do today. 

He lifted the little lunch up in the air as he gazed over the multitude and scripture tells us that He gave thanks.  He gave thanks for what he had even though he knew it wasn’t enough to meet the need he faced. 

 

2010 has been a year of tight finances and times when we simply didn’t have enough to meet the need.  Our client numbers, those visiting us for the first time as well as follow up visits are up 50% since 2008.  Consequently we have had to increase our counseling and medical appointments significantly and that means more staff and volunteer hours.  Our payroll has increased over the last 2 years by nearly 25% as well.  Not as a luxury but because of necessity.  A few weeks ago I brought a van load of diapers back to the Roanoke office from RVCS.  The girl’s volleyball teams had collected them for us.  Today, they are nearly gone.  We are currently projecting about a 10% shortfall financially for this year as well. Just a few examples of how the need appears to be greater than what we have in our hands.  I’m starting to sound like the disciples now aren’t I? 

But today I want to take what we have in our hands, what God has provided to us up to this moment and give thanks for it. 

Thank you Abba for what we have.  You see the need clearer than we ever could and you know that it seems overwhelming to us.  But it is not overwhelming to you and it never will be.  Like the boy who provided his lunch, many of the readers of this Blog have provided a significant portion of what we are lifting up to you today.  I pray not only for you to multiply what we now have but that you will multiply back to them what they have given.  Just as the boy and his family gave-up their meager lunch to be filled and satisfied; please fill and satisfy those who gave up for us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.