The dishwasher is broken again. Your to-do list is growing. The bills need to be paid, the kids need this and that, your work deadline is fast approaching and you’re in desperate need of a good night’s sleep. Life is a constant battle for your attention.
There just doesn’t seem to be enough. There’s not enough time, not enough energy, not enough money, not enough focus, not enough of you to go around. And it’s a vicious cycle. When you can’t recharge your batteries, you move slower, and items on your to-do list pile up faster.
You lose sight of God. You know he is there- somewhere- waiting, but everything is swirling around you and when you reach for him, you come up empty. Even when you pull out your Bible, the words seem flat and you can’t bring yourself to focus. It would be easier if he would just make everything stop and come meet you where you are. If only he would reveal himself.
Or perhaps it’s your children who are discontent. For the heart of a parent, that can be much worse. You want to provide, you want to fix, but their hunger runs much deeper than you are able to feed with meals, with words or with gifts. They don’t know how to find peace for themselves. You wonder- Why won’t God reveal himself?
But he has.
Somehow, we need to teach our children- and we need to learn for ourselves- how to find God in the midst of our daily battles.
How to Save Your Family: Gather the Crumbs
We don’t need to be given more. We need to receive more of what we’ve already been given.
As author Ann Voskamp points out in her wonderful book, "1,000 Gifts", the Bible is full of lessons that teach us how to realize all that we need in Christ.
The gospel of Matthew, for instance, recounts the story of Jesus miraculously feeding over 5,000 people with only a few loaves of bread and a couple fish.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Ann Voskamp points out that after the disciples gathered what food they could from the crowd-which wasn’t much- the first thing Jesus did was give thanks. Before the miracle, before there was enough to go around, Jesus looked up to heaven and gave thanks for what had already been already provided.