So this week is the beginning of a new year of faith formation programming at the parish where I work. Everything starts this weekend. While I am excited to start my second year, the beginning brings with it a lot of anxiety as well. I find myself constantly wondering if I’ve done everything I need to to make sure that all the programs start on the best foot. I never quite feel like I’ve done enough.
I’ve been lamenting all of this for the last few weeks as the kickoff date has approached. Last week I met with my spiritual director and he told me to pray with the story of the loaves and the fishes, the feeding of the 5,000. As a refresher, in the story, Jesus and the disciples have been traveling and Jesus has been teaching. The crowd has been growing. It’s been awhile and everyone is hungry and needs to eat. The disciples tell Jesus to have everyone go get their own food, but Jesus tells them to feed them themselves. The disciples freak out wondering how they are going to pay to feed all of the people. Jesus just asks them what they have. The disciples come up with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish which Jesus blesses and everyone is fed.
The disciples just gave the little they had and Jesus multiplied it to feed everyone. This has been such an important reminder to me. Jesus isn’t asking me to take care of every little detail all on my own. All He asks is for me to give my very best, which often times feels like nothing, like scraps, and He will do the rest. He knows I am going to forget or miss things, but He is faithful and will take care of the messes that I make.
The Lord reminded me again today that all He asks is for me to be faithful and to give Him my weakness through this passage:
I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:2-5
Ministry, and for that matter being a disciple, doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it. It just requires us to step out in faith, trusting that God will use our weakness to show His glory. He isn’t afraid of our weaknesses and failings. He actually loves our weakness and because of it is able to show forth His glory even more powerfully then He would be able to if we were capable of doing it all on our own.
And so with these reminders, I’m going forward this week trusting that while I know I am weak, the Lord will be able to use my weakness to bring amazing results in the hearts of those I minister to and with. I will choose each day to give Him my five loaves and two fish, trusting that He will be able to feed the five thousand with my scraps.