What a title! Perhaps it leads you to think of food that has been set aside when enough has been consumed to satisfy one’s hunger. You might think of those who work with fabric and have cut out what they need but remnant pieces remain. With some resourcefulness leftover food can be used for a new meal. Extra fabric can be stitched into a different creation.
I have known times when I have felt like a leftover and wondered where I belonged. When the challenges in my body became too intense for me to continue my teaching career, an early retirement was necessary. I hoped to volunteer occasionally at my former work site. That planned involvement failed. My caring colleagues remained part of a world where I no longer fit. I had a lot within me that I wanted to offer in some way. My illness seemed to curtail such plans.
In this Scripture passage Jesus had miraculously fed 5,000 people. He did this having only five loaves and two fishes and there were leftovers. He saw this surplus as still useful.
Each of us has God-given gifts of high quality. These are His provisions to carry out the plans He has for our life. No part of us is useless, no matter how limited we may feel. I had to recognize for myself that if I held onto the former ways that I had worked and viewed my talents, I would miss a new direction God had for me. I needed His guidance to gather up the pieces in my life and discover how He had new uses for them.
I choose to trust that God wastes nothing in my life or in yours. “. . . seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9b) Who is more resourceful than the One who created us in His image? Right. So as each of us seeks Him may we be delightfully surprised at how God reveals to us the next steps we are to take.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gifts of new life and new ways. My limitations become surplus in Your hands. Refresh, rekindle and use me anew. Amen.
About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 29 years of living with daily physical challenges.
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How has God rekindled a gift that you have to offer, using it in new and meaningful ways? How could you encourage a friend who is going through an intense life change? What surplus from your life experiences would bring inspiration and hope?