A well checkup revealed something not quite right, and that led to tests and a biopsy. The doctor assured us that good news was more than likely, so we squeezed the doctor’s appointment onto our calendar.
Unfortunately, the biopsy revealed that Richard had cancer.
A few minutes later we stood in a parking lot. I closed my eyes, holding tight to the man who makes me laugh until I have to run to the bathroom.
The person I love second, after Jesus.
We hadn’t budgeted time for much more than that embrace. Richard had clients waiting. I had women arriving at my home in an hour for Bible study.
Richard and I climbed into our respective cars and turned different directions on Interstate 49. Suddenly I realized that I couldn’t see. I pulled off at the next exit and found a safe place to park. I rested my head on the steering wheel and wept like a baby.
I made it home in time for Bible study.
We gathered around the table and opened our Bibles, flipping to the Scriptures for the day’s study. I numbly read the passage in front of me. It was the story of the second miracle of fishes and loaves:
About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them, ‘I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.’
His disciples replied, ‘How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?’” Mark 8:1–4 (NLT)
Jesus had multiplied a little boy’s lunch into enough to feed thousands just a few days earlier.
Now there’s another opportunity.
Same problem as before. Too many people. Too little food. Not enough faith.
I often write in the margins of my Bible. In bold letters I saw my own words staring up at me.
How did they forget the first miracle so soon?
The page blurred. I stood next to the disciples, except this time I was in a parking lot in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with my arms around my husband.
I had forgotten our first miracle.
You see, twenty-three years earlier, I was sick with cancer.
We beat the odds, and that was a gift. For a long time, I thought that was the big miracle, but later I realized the true miracles came as we dug deep into our faith and came up with enough to make it through the day—or the hour if that was what was required.
That was our loaves and fishes, multiplied beyond our meager supply.
My friends at Bible study didn’t know what to think as I sat there, holding open my Bible, tears dropping onto the page.
In that moment I was a modern-day disciple holding up my not-enough faith.
Faith is birthed in the trenches of our not enough.
Surrendering all that we have from the very beginning is a big move of faith, no matter what we are facing.
Over and over in Scripture, Jesus asks the disciples to give what they don’t seem to have and he calls it BIG.
What Jesus sees as big is different from what we see as big.
When Richard was first diagnosed, I didn’t have enough faith, and it’s okay to acknowledge that. As long as I was willing to give him what I did have. Every hard place. Every strikingly beautiful moment.
What does God want?
All of it.
When we feel small, we carry our “not enough” to God on a regular basis.
Whatever big thing we are facing, God not only sees it but is waiting for us.
We step toward him with our hands raised high, no-holds-barred, bringing him every uncertainty, every hope, all our fears, all our strength, every aspect of our situation.
The “big” is birthed inside of us as we believe that he can do something with the little that we do have. Whether it leads to a lame man leaping to his feet (healing), a few loaves multiplied by thousands (provision), hymns sung in the darkness of prison (hope), or standing near to Jesus while everything around us seems to fall apart (courage), our faith becomes an anchor.
Don’t forget: Believe big when you feel small!
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