Three wives were bemoaning their husbands’ attitudes towards leftovers:
“It gets rough,” one said. “My husband is a movie producer and he calls them reruns.”
“You think you have it bad,” was the reply. “Mine is a quality control engineer and he calls them rejects!”
“That’s nothing compared to me,” said the third lady. “My husband is a mortician. He calls them remains!” *
Much has been written about not serving God the leftovers in our lives when He desires our best. I like – OK, truth be known, I was convicted by – what Francis Chan wrote in “Serving Leftovers to a Holy God.”
“God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty giving Him nothing … Leftovers are not merely inadequate; from God’s point of view (and lest we forget, His is the only one that matters), they’re evil.”
But that’s not what this post is about. One night, my husband Bob and I discussed this question: Does God have any leftovers?
A New Testament miracle came to mind. Jesus ministered to people whether their need was for truth, healing or food. Mixed within the multitude of people who followed Jesus were some who came because of His message and miracles, but most came simply for the meals. When they didn’t understand His message or the source of power behind His miracles, they still knew they could count on some chow. The Bread of Life provided well.
At least in one case (John 6:12-13, the feeding of the 5,000), there were “fragments” of food – 12 baskets full – that remained after the mass feeding. After the disciples saw Jesus turn the two barley loaves and fish into dinner for a crowd, they heard him say, “… gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” I’ve always wondered about those leftovers.
“Christ Blessing the Five Loaves,” a print at Holy Transfiguration Monastery
The multitude may not have felt the 12 baskets of “fragments” were that important, but apparently Jesus did. Perhaps they represented God’s blessings. Maybe they represented the Father’s good grace.
Sometimes I’m guilty of considering only the big evidences of God’s work in my life as important, but the truth is, even the small blessings can point me back to the goodness and grace of God. Without Him, I can do nothing. He gives me strength; He is my Provider, my Sustainer.
So I try to gather up all these little fragments of blessing in my life and remember them, especially for the tough times. I believe there are no “worthless leftovers” in God’s plan.
God redeems everything in the believer’s life; He makes or will make all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5). So instead of complaining or wallowing in discouragement when facing life’s trials and problems, I can choose to rejoice and count (rehearse) my blessings. I pick up all my “fragments” and praise Him for the work He’s about to do.
Consider some of the Bible’s lowly “leftovers”:
- The lowly slave boy, Joseph, became Egypt’s second in command. (He not only collected the small fragments of his life and trusted God, he showed the Egyptians how to survive in famine – Genesis 47:13-31.)
- God chose a lowly shepherd boy to be Israel’s king.
- Jesus chose 12 simple men to be His disciples.
So don’t get discouraged if you feel like a “leftover” in the Kingdom of God. Instead, meditate on 1 Corinthians 1:27-29:
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
God chose me … an unworthy servant … to speak and write about His love and holiness to this generation; and knowing that God uses what others might reject encourages me to reach out with the Gospel. Sometimes He invites people to His banquet-table that others might never consider (Luke 14:15-24). Learn to see people from God’s perspective: He transforms lowly leftovers into miraculous makeovers! In God’s economy, every “fragment” is precious.
How have you seen God radically change an area of your life? How is He transforming you for His glory?
* Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3934, 12-31-12