BRING YOUR OWN BASKET

by Taylor Dove - October 3 2018

I got the call about our first foster care placement in the drive through of a coffee shop. With shaking hands, I listened to the details of a child whose life started when I was in middle school, and whose story was now intersecting with my own. At the end, my husband and I had a choice to make. Would we say yes to him? I’ll be the first to admit, when God asks hard things of us, I am often the one who acts like she didn’t hear Him. Because the things God calls us to do- the really important, life-altering, world-shaking things- are the ones the same things I am guilty of tricking myself into thinking are impossible.

A war started in my mind after that phone call. The usual enemies were there. Doubt and Fear were the commanding officers. How can you possibly be a good mom to this boy when you have no experience? What if this changes your marriage? Isn’t there someone else more qualified? Can you relate to being afraid to say yes? When God calls us to big things (and, spoiler alert, He’s always calling us to big things) we have a choice to make about how we will make our decision. Will we base our decision on the list of our own capabilities, or will we take inventory of the things our God is able to do on His own?

When I learned this life wasn’t about me (and this is something I have to relearn every single day, multiple times a day) my decisions became a lot easier. Because while on my own I am incredibly inadequate, the good news is, it isn’t about me and what I can and cannot do. It’s about my mighty God​ who breathes life into dry bones and speaks the very world into existence. It’s about HIS ability to use us in ways we never could have fathomed. It’s about the Spirit moving in ways we may never see. It’s about seeds that are planted that we give to God to provide the increase.

Do you trust in the power of God enough to say yes even when your yes feels small and inadequate? Take a look at the boy with the fishes and loaves in John 6. When Jesus asked his disciples in verse 5 where to find food for the thousands who had gathered, they did what we often do- they searched out of their own means. Look at verses 7-9. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 ​One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Man. I feel that on a personal level. Yes, Jesus. I want to care for the orphans. I want to fight for reconciliation within families. I want to play a part in the redemption story you are writing. But I don’t have enough. What is this for so many?

I, like Philip and Andrew, often only see what I have in front of me in my own hands. But Jesus. He always has a way of reminding us again and again of His power, even when He’s demonstrated it to us a million times over. Look at verses 11-12 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 ​And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” Not only was Jesus able to give the people enough to eat, there was so much that there were baskets left over. Do you recognize that this power is still in play today? When Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, whether literally or metaphorically, are you looking to find enough for five thousand before you say yes, or are you bold enough in your faith to approach him with 5 loaves and 2 fishes and trust that He will increase it so much that there is plenty left over?

I don’t have enough love, enough patience, or the right words in my basket.
I don’t have the tools to heal a child whose wounds are too deep for me to even see.
I don’t have the grace to forgive a family whose brokenness has infiltrated my home.

But when I bring that to Jesus? There is abundant grace. There is love pouring out of places I wouldn’t have seen it before. There is redemption happening on a spiritual level. And all I had to do was say yes. Here, Jesus. Take this and make something beautiful from it. If you are reading this and wondering if you can say yes to caring for orphans, serving the sick, spreading the gospel, bringing light to the darkness, washing the feet of others in humble submission, the answer is no, you can’t do it on your own. But with God? Let that yes come with boldness and without fear. Because He has a habit of using the unqualified to do beautiful things. He does it all of the time, and He wants to do it with you too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taylor is a Carolina girl born and raised. Though she has her roots in the mountains of Western North Carolina, she currently resides outside of Charlotte with her husband, two dogs, and first foster placement. When she isn't teaching her high school students, she enjoys spending time at Carolina Bible Camp or around a campfire making s'mores and talking about Jesus. You can find her writing on instagram about dogs and foster care @heytaydove

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