Small gifts in the hands of a big God

I read this in my devotions the other day.  It was an effective reminder.

There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people? (from John 6)

I spent a summer as a chaplain in a children’s hospital. On my first day there I went to visit a little boy who had just had open heart surgery. He was not expected to live and was lying in the bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He looked exactly like my own son. I looked at the boy and then I looked up at the father. He was rubbing his son’s leg and a large tear was rolling down his face. I wanted to say something comforting or offer an eloquent prayer, but all I could do was cry. I just sobbed, and then the father began to sob, too. After a few minutes I managed a prayer and excused myself. I felt like a total failure. I was supposed to bring strength and all I had done was show my weakness.

It was a week before I had the nerve to inquire about the boy. To my delight I learned that he was recovering. I went to check on him and to apologize to the father.

He was there, smiling, and I said, “Hello.” At once he began to thank me. My crying, he said, had made it OK for him to cry—something he never felt he could do. He said it was the greatest gift he had ever been given.

I had thought my offering was small and insufficient — like the loaves and fishes — but God knew better.

I really liked
this one from a couple weeks ago, too.

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