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What DO You Have?

This morning as I was preparing for work, I was overwhelmed at the thought of all the unfinished work I was about to face. I knew I had left my desk covered with a dozen projects, all unfinished, urgently interrupted at various stages of completion and in complete disorder. My "current" file is fast approaching three inches thick, and I have a number of deadlines bearing down on me. Not to mention the on-going demands of a very busy and ever-changing work environment. Don't get me wrong. I love my job, and perhaps it's the very nature of it - no two days, or even two hours are ever alike and I am in a constant state of going from crisis to crisis - which, believe it or not, is what I actually enjoy the most. However, that does leave the problem of getting everything back into order at some point and disciplining myself to stick to and finish some of the more mundane (and not so enjoyable) administrative aspects of my job - even when there are no stretches of uninterrupted quiet in which to do it. It's hard enough to stick at filling out forms and shuffling papers the first time around, and with no interruptions, but coming back to it once left feels like mountain climbing. And at this point, I'm looking at the Rockies, or maybe even the Himalayas, not the Appalachians!

I was thinking about what I don't have. I don't have my work caught up. I don't have a natural bent towards moving paper in any kind of organized fashion. I don't have a secretary. (In heaven, I'm definitely going to put in an order for one of those!) I don't have a 24 hour workday (though I try to stretch it out to that from time to time, much to my supervisor's chagrin). I don't have a "current pile" that is ever going to get any smaller. (I've learned that I'm doing well if I can just keep it from growing larger.) I don't have a ministry audit that is going to go away. I don't have a lot of things... And the more I thought about it, the more frustrated and panic-stricken I felt inside.

"What DO you have?" It was that still small voice I know so well.

Hmmm. I began to think about the boy who had five loaves and two fish. Or was it five fish and two loaves? At any rate, he sure didn't have enough to feed that hungry crowd of thousands on the hillsides. I'm sure his list of "don't haves" was far longer than his list of "haves". But Jesus wasn't interested in what he didn't have in his lunch. He only wanted to know what the boy did have. And then he worked miracles with it, not only filling all those mouths, but gathering up basketsful afterward! Baskets - of leftovers!

I thought about the woman in 2 Kings who had lost her husband and was about to lose her sons too. They were to be sold into slavery to pay off her debt. She'd lost nearly everything and was about to lose the rest. Like the boy with the loaves and fish, her list was pretty unbalanced, too. But God didn't seem to be interested in what she didn't have either.

"What DO you have?" Elisha had asked her.

"Just a little jar of oil," she had replied.

He told her to go out and get pots and jars and whatever she could borrow from all her neighbours. And not just a few. She filled her house with jars. She started pouring and the oil didn't stop until they were ALL filled. It was enough to pay off her creditor in full - and for her and her sons to live off the proceeds.

I may not have a secretary. Or a brain that is easy to keep on task. Or the gift of administration. Or a job that ever gets "caught up". But if I took what I do have and gave it to God, I couldn't possibly go wrong.

So what DO I have? Let's take inventory.

I have eight good hours ahead of me. And eight more the next day and eight more each day after that. I have a heart that won't quit, a team that won't let me, and if those two things failed, a boss who would never let me go under. I have colleagues who inspire me, a family that loves me, and a husband who supports me. And all of those a gifts from a God who will never leave me. Wow, it's already multiplying! Right here on the page.

How about you? What do you have? Take your inventory; give whatever you have to God. In his hands, it doesn't matter if it's just a little or a lot. And then prepare to be amazed. Because it's not about what you have, or have not. It's about whose hands it's in.

As for that mountain range that faces me, I'll keep you posted. But I'm prepared to be amazed!

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