Hospitality is not my forte. I love to plan parties, decorate cakes and daydream about giving my mantel a trendy makeover—but when it comes to executing these crafty ambitions, my klutzy side takes over.
I’ve always considered this a shortcoming. Until recently, when a children’s Bible story shifted my thinking. It was the well-loved tale of Jesus feeding five thousand people with one boy’s lunch.
“What’s special about this story?” I asked my five-year-old daughter.
“Ummm. . . the boy gave Jesus his fish?”
“Yes, the boy was very kind to share his fish and bread with everyone,” I agreed. “But what did Jesus do with it?”
“He made it grow bigger so everybody could eat.”
“Yes! Isn’t that amazing? The lunch basket wasn’t magic. The boy wasn’t magic. But Jesus has super powers.” I squeezed an arm around my daughter’s shoulders. “He is the star of this story.”
Ahhhh. She got the picture just as a light bulb popped in my own head. Sometimes I’m like that little boy. All I have to offer—my mismatched coffee cups and carpet stains—is nothing but an unglamorous peasant lunch. Who’s going to feast on that?
I can’t possibly have the Bible study meet in my living room. They’ll trip over the Elmo ball pit.
I’d love to invite some ladies for tea and crumpets, but I don’t know what a crumpet is and I’m pretty sure I’d burn them if I found a recipe.
What if they judge my bare walls? Does the kitchen smell like last night’s garlic sauce? When was the last time I dusted the light fixtures? Aaaaaaaack! Too much pressure! Shut the fridge and lock the doors! I can’t take it anymore!
So what? Maybe just the thing Jesus needs in order to feed the multitudes is my wimpy basket. Host the play date anyway. Pray over the Elmo decor. Skip those crumpets and buy donut holes.
I’m so easily embarrassed by my hospitality deficiencies that I forget God can transform my meager offering into something bigger, better, beyond imagination. The wow factor is his job, not mine.
So what’s the real issue here? It isn’t my lack of hostess flair. It’s pride.
Oh yes, let’s just call it what it is. There’s the kind of pride we take in great accomplishments, and then there’s the pride of self-consciousness, the fear of not measuring up. Either way, pride shines a spotlight on me rather than on the One who made me—klutzy, yet with a purpose.
Back to the story of the boy and his lunch. Jesus didn’t just feed people’s bellies. He filled their souls. And he didn’t actually need that starter batch of fish and loaves in order to work a miracle. Jesus can create those out of thin air. Could it be he wants to use our ordinary gifts and steps of faith to launch great things? How can I let my pride get in the way of that?
“Let’s invite some friends over to play next week,” I told my daughter as we closed her Bible for the night. “We could have a special snack.”
“Easy Bake Oven cake?”
“Perfect.” I smiled. “God can grow it!”
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
SUBSCRIBE to receive your FREE copy of Overwhelmed today!
SIGN UP to BEGIN a M.O.M. Initiative Mentor Group in your area! You will also receive a FREE copy of Overwhelmed and as a ministry tool, please feel free to make as many copies as you need.