Using The Leftovers

Duane Vander Klok

The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.
Psalm 23:1 (NIV)

God isn’t focused on what we lack or what we have lost. Instead, He uses and blesses what we have left. Yet so often, we pray for God to give us something more or new, and try to rationalize that we can only do His work if we have those things. Sometimes when we are praying, we say “God, if only I had this, then I could do the work you have called me to,” or “God, if only you would bless me with a better job or a pay raise, then I could be more generous to people in need.”

There are countless stories throughout the Bible where God doesn’t focus on our lack, but focuses on what is left. In the Old Testament, there is a story of the Prophet Elisha and a widow who just lost her husband. She has no money, no rights, nor power, and is about to lose her children to the creditors. The only thing she has left is one jar of oil. Elisha instructs her to gather empty vessels from her village, as many as she possibly can, and then to begin filling them with the oil that she has left. When all is said and done, she has so many jars of oil that she is able to sell them, pay off her debt, keep her children out of slavery, and ultimately live.

So often, we pray for things that we believe we need, even when God has more than enough for us to succeed in His calling. Instead of asking God for more, what if we began to change our prayers to “God, reveal to me what I already have, and use it for your Kingdom.”

This week, let’s make that our continual prayer. Let’s not focus on the things that we have lost or believe are in lack. Let’s instead ask for God to open our eyes to what we have left, and offer it to Him.