Marybeth Whalen

'"How many loaves do you have?' he asked. 'Go and see.' When they found out, they said, 'Five—and two fish.'" Mark 6:38 (NIV)

I glanced at the clock on the bottom of my computer. It was 6:47 pm and the email had been sent hours earlier. I kicked myself for not checking my email that afternoon and regretted not being able to respond to my friend's plea for prayer as she prepared to share her testimony in a small group at her church. I scanned through her email again and saw that the time she was supposed to begin was at 6:30. Feeling a little foolish, I typed a quick email:

"Dear Karen," I wrote, "It is 6:47 and I am praying your testimony will be effective in the hearts of those who listen." I had no idea why I included the time, it just felt like the right thing to do. I guess because I wanted her to know I did what I could as soon as I could. The next morning, I woke up to this email:

"NO WAY!!!!!!!!!! I was told to arrive at 6:30 and we'd start once the ladies got their kids settled. The leader had me start.....AT 6:47!!!!"

There are too many times that I have been in a situation like that and done nothing because I couldn't do it "right." I beat myself up with thoughts like: A better friend would have prayed as soon as the email came out. A more organized person would have checked her email earlier. How often do we feel like we fall short of what we could be doing as Christians? We wish we could give more, pray harder, speak up more, offer more time. And in the end, because we can't do as much as we want, we throw up our hands and do nothing. Because we can't do it all, we don't do anything at all.

As I read my friend's response, I was glad I did something, taking the little I had to offer and giving it anyway. I was too late by my timing, but not by God's. I had missed the opportunity to pray for my friend before but God miraculously had me open the email at the moment she was beginning and pray then.

In Mark 6:35-44, Jesus performs the miracle of feeding the 5000 men. The disciples told Him that they didn't have enough to feed the crowd. They were ready to give up. I love the question that He asks them in our verse today: "Well, what do you have? Go and see." When they turned over what they did have to Him, He was able to multiply it beyond what they could have imagined.

So many times I come to Him and say the same: "I just have this little tiny bit…of money, of time, of resources, of energy."

And He says, "Bring what you have to me. That's all I ask. Let me take care of it from here."

So I ask what little you might have to give? You might not be able to give $1000. But you could give $10. You might not be able to pledge hours and hours to serve at church. But you can serve once a month for one hour. You might not feel comfortable speaking to crowds. But you're great at sharing what God's doing in your life one-on-one. You might not be able to lead a prayer ministry. But you can pray for a friend who needs it, even if it seems like you're too late.

Let God take your little and make it much. Let Him take your 6:47 and make it right on time.

Dear Lord, show me how I can respond when I feel like I don't have enough. Help me to offer my little in Your name and watch You respond in multiples. Open my eyes to the times I need to offer what I can and let that be enough, trusting You with the rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Marybeth’s blog for more daily encouragement.

The Reason We Speak General Editor Marybeth Whalen

For the Write Reason General Editor Marybeth Whalen

Come Along: The Journey into a More Intimate Faith by Jane Rubietta

For an extra lift, listen to
Trust Him, one of our Radio programs

Application Steps:
Jesus is asking you: What do you have? Go and see. Spend time today seeing what you have.

What are the things that keep you from saying yes? Fear? Inadequacy? Insecurity? How can doing something little help you overcome these things?

Power Verses:
2 Kings 4:43, "'How can I set this before a hundred men?' his servant asked. But Elisha answered, 'Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: 'They will eat and have some left over.'" (NIV)

2 Kings 4:44, "Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord." (NIV)

© 2010 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. Thank you for the devotion. Reminding me to bring what I have to the Lord!God speaking to me, had this in my Bible study!

Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you~! I started today to try this online devotion each morning before I do anything else...No emails or facebook first...putting the Lord's time first and prayer.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a friend who has been going through a tremendous amount of angst with her husband. I have prayed and prayed, but have yet to go visit her. I was just telling someone how I have been a bad friend b/c I haven't talked to her directly during this whole ordeal. This particular devotion lets me know it's not too late to go see her. It could be God's perfect timing. Thank you for being God's instrument!!

Anonymous Shanna said...

This is the first time that I have read the devotion and I am so glad I did an will continue from here on. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I can see now how I can apply it to my everyday life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this incident which is so encouraging to me. Little is much when GOD is in it. It is so wonderful to be living life with God directing me each moment.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

See what you said....But GOD! We can't, BUT GOD.....

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...just what i needed as i finish up my school year ( i teach high school math). i feel like the last few months have been characterized by the word "fail." thanks for encouraging me to do what i can. i will remember this! God wants what i can give, plus He knows what that is, and He will give me the strength i need.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been serving the Lord for
30+ years and I can tell you I have felt like this alot. Failure!
This is a great devotion. It has encouraged me to do what I can and not worry that my prayer may not be as long as someone elses. I pray alittle at a time, several times a day. Maybe it is just a song I am singing and then I think of someone to pray for. I always hear you should pray more. So I feel like a failure in my prayer life. I could use some insite on this. Denise Schumann

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

On my way to work this morning I was talking to my husband about how I feel like I am failing at everything. My mood has been bad, my temper short, and I have not accomplished what I feel I should have. Thank you for reminding me that if I will give the little I have to God, He can and will do great things and I need to trust Him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotional today! I was just thinking about all the hurting people in the world and how little my resources are. You encouraged me to do what I can and let God do the rest. I really needed this today!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blessing this devotion was today!!! Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to speak through you!!! This was definately what I needed to hear. God bless you for being faithful to his work!!!

Blogger Wander said...

Wow! That was perfect!

Thanks so much!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that you included the scripture from the old testament, showing that Christ reproduced the same miracle re-inforcing that He was who He claimed to be. Not only God, but the same God that the Jews knew from long ago. But more than that, on a personal note, just prior to reading the devotion today, I had just prayed to soon receive a settlement that I have been waiting / hoping / praying for that would enable me to give a $1000 offering. I had to laugh because it was as if God spoke right to me..."you may not be able to give $1000, but you can give $10." I have to be faithful in the small ways before he can trust me to be faithful in larger ones. Great devotion.

Blogger poetry4Him said...

Love your words of encouragement! We need them daily!!!!

Blogger Kelsie said...

I had tears in my eyes as I read this devotion. Excellent, excellent. A great reminder that we need to give of ourselves and trust God to enable us and use what we have. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just reading this devo & thinking about God's "perfect timing" as I am in a grateful "daze" after 20+ tornadoes ripped through our state last night...I was allowed to leave work early, but still got stuck between two different tornadoes with blinding rain & golf-ball sized hail. At that moment, I was unable to reach my mom, daughter, & great-grandmother & have never felt so utterly helpless. But after all was said and done, and confirmation that all our family and friends were safe, I know that I was where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there- I needed a reminder that God is in control of EVERY situation!!! Side note- there were at least 5 confirmed fatalities during last night's storms...please be in prayer for those families who lost loved ones!

Blogger Colleen Reske said...

I LOVED your devotion today! It is so true that all we see are our inadequacies, yet God sees our potential! Trusting Him in everything is the only way.

His ways are so much greater than ours, of course we feel like we fall short. But somehow He takes us as we are and uses us for His glory, and we can only shake our head at the beautiful mystery of it all

Blogger Rachel V. said...

This was exactly what I needed today! I was feeling so much guilt at how little time is left in my day (after work and kids) to help my "neighbors" recover from our great flood here in Nashville. This helped me get it back in perspective. I will give what time I can, give what money I can, give what supplies I can and know that God will do great things!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have been to this page, thank you, this is exactly what I need in my life. As someone once said to me, and I often forget, "It doesn't always have to have a bow on it". Thanks for the reminder.

Blogger Cindy said...

This is truly incredible. Just this morning I was driving to work and thinking about how much need there is in the world. How if I had more time or money I'd do this or that. But time and money are no excuse. You're so right - give a little and God will make it much. Thank you so much for reminding me of this!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You, beautifully put!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When i read this it immediately answered my prayer.You see I am a loner I do not like crowds and noise to me is bothersome, but wait a minute it is not all about me and I realize that now. My time will be all for him and to him all the glory I thank you for sharing this with us and yes it is all about trusting our father and knowing that he is in control no matter what.

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