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Something for nothing

Pippa Botha Something for Nothing

There was a time when I was working full day, the children were in their final years in high school, my parents were needing a lot of care, Riekert was travelling and I had to start my day at five o'clock every morning doing something that I had absolutely no idea how to do. Riekert and I had been asked to write three booklets. I had never written anything more than a school essay! I was physically and emotionally exhausted and totally out of my depth. I remember sitting in front of the computer while my family slept and staring at the screen. Nothing! I had nothing. Nothing to say. Nothing to give. I used to pray the same prayer every morning, “Lord Jesus, please, please give me something!”

Jesus always gives us something in exchange for our nothing!

I think of the futility of the tiny bread rolls and two fish in the presence of thousands of hungry men or the ridicule of the water jars in the midst of shamefully empty wine goblets. In both incidences Jesus took what the people had, no matter how inadequate, and made more than they could ever have dreamt possible. Jesus is wonderful!

The secret is to give Him our nothing and to obey His instructions even when they seem ridiculous. Mary instructed the servants to do exactly what Jesus commanded them. Most times it takes enormous bravery to give the nothing we have to Him.

Our first salary at our new congregation was painfully inadequate. The elders were embarrassed and anxious but they could never have predicted Riekerts’ response. He received the news without comment and asked the elders to give half of the amount to another minister! Was he insane? I must say I thought so at the time but he had an instruction from Jesus and understood that even the full amount was insufficient to cover our needs. His option was to hold on to his nothing or give it up and trust the God of everything. In the months that followed, we watched God multiply the offering to supply all our needs. It was a miracle! God is faithful!

When we stare our neediness in the face, it is very hard to look beyond that reality to see our Provider and Lord. It is even harder to give our last bit of hope to Him. Our whole being rebels at the thought! This I understand because I have experienced it. But Jesus is greater than our understanding and greater than our hope.

May He bless you as you trust Him in your insufficiency.

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