But What Are These For So Many People?


“And in the hands of Jesus, it is enough.”

By Abby Norman | Twitter: @AccidentalDevo

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” -John 6:9

But what are these for so many people?

I spend my working hours in front of 240 teenagers, in groups of 30, for 55 minutes at a time every school day. So many faces, so many papers, so many big stories in hearts still young. There are tests to prepare for and grammar to learn. There is discipline to be doled out, second and third and fourth chances to be given. Does this matter, does my presence in this place make a difference?

But, Lord, what are these moments for so many people, for so many needs?

I come home to as many in diapers as I have hands. There are kids to be changed. There are meals to be made. Dishes to wash. Babies to bathe. The toys are never completely picked up. The laundry is never done. Someone is always hungry. How could this possibly matter–the slow and exhausting work of parenthood?

But, Jesus, what is my work for so much tiny unending needing?

On Sunday I am faced with the information that more needs done. I go to a small and young church I love, and there never seem to be quite enough people to load our stuff out of the trailer and back in again, make the coffee, count the money, teach the kids. As soon as someone is good and trained, they run off with a few other good workers and start another church. It is the way it is supposed to work, but it leaves us perpetually searching for new hands to make light work.

But God, what are our efforts for everything it takes to get a Sunday service working?

So many of my friends are doing so many things that are brave and strong. The SheLoves well, running a marathon for the education of girls, $US10,000 for clean water, breaking people out of slavery, connecting refugees with their families, providing summer camp for underprivileged kids, employing widows to parent orphans. My family simply does not have the time, money or connections to contribute to everything. Sometimes I wonder if the small ways we contribute matter at all.

But Jesus, what are my efforts in the face of all of this need?

My moments, my efforts, my money, they feel meaningless in this world.

Who am I against so much?

But then I sit at the feet of my Savior. I hand over the moments, the efforts, the money, and suddenly I am the lad with five barley loaves and two fish. And in the hands of Jesus, it is enough.

I am enough.


About Abby:

Abby lives and loves in the city of Atlanta. She has two hilarious children and a husband that doubles as her copy editor and biggest fan. If two in diapers and a full time job teaching English at a local high school don’t keep her busy, you can find her blogging at www.accidentaldevotional.com.

Image credit: Charlotte Morrall