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Take Inventory - Encouragement Café - January 8

Take Inventory
 By Joan Walker Hahn

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV

Jesus feeding the 5000 is a well-known miracle recorded in the Gospels.  One Sunday our Pastor was reviewing the miracle within a sermon.  The disciples thought Jesus should send the people away into the nearby towns to eat.  Jesus told them they shouldn’t send the people away when they could feed the crowd themselves. 

When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”  But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” Luke 9:12-13a NKJV

Our Pastor said it’s as if Jesus told the disciples, “Take an inventory.  You’ve got more than you think.”

That comment stuck with me.  Why is it that in this Land of Plenty, so many people seem to feel like they don’t have enough?  We are considered the richest nation in the world, yet people are in debt trying to afford things they don’t really need and longing for things they don’t have. 

The disciples had their eyes on the magnitude of the situation.  The Bible tells us there were 5000 men, a number that didn’t include the women and children.

 All they could see were the numbers of mouths needing to be fed.  They didn’t seem to even consider any option other than telling Jesus that He should send them away into the surrounding towns for them to find food.    

But they had all they needed right there in front of them all the time.

I remember back when my children were young and I was feeling frazzled handling all the craziness of marriage, kids, job, home and all the responsibilities of each.  Someone told me to turn every chore into a prayer of thankfulness.  When I was doing laundry, I thanked God for clothing my family.  When I was washing dishes, I thanked God for food to eat and my growing, healthy children. 

When cleaning the floors, I thanked God for our home.  When I got up early to prepare my kids and myself for the day, I thanked God for my job and the strength to perform it. 

Everything my hand touched was a gift provided by God.

When we get caught up in the struggles of life, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the worry and frustration that comes along with the problems.  Like the disciples focusing on the magnitude of the crowd, we focus on the size of our struggle. 

We forget that as a Child of God, He is right there with us.  We may cry out to Him asking Him to take care of the problem. 

But we have to understand that He may not solve the problem the way we think that He should.  He may tell us to take a look at what we already have. 

We have Him and the strength, peace and comfort that only He can provide.  When we turn our focus back to praising Him for what He has already done and trusting for what He will do, we will experience the miracle of Him giving us just what we need exactly when we need it.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for all that I have.  Thank You most of all for Your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ.  May I ever be mindful that during good times or during times of struggle, You are all that I need.  Help me to focus on You more than on my wants and needs, because You have always provided everything I need right when I need it.  May I not take that miracle for granted.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

For more encouragement, visit Joan at http://joanwalkerhahn.com/.

© 2019 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

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Christianity / Devotionals / Encouragement Café / Take Inventory - Encouragement Café - January 8