Friday, January 25, 2013

Throne of Grace; Making Much of Little

Jenn and I would love to introduce you to our guest blogger today, Molly, from Throne of Grace! We first introduced this fabulous website a few weeks ago (you can read about that here). Her blog is an inspiration and a perfect example of how using our talents can help spread joy in ways that we can't even imagine! Welcome Molly!

My name is Molly. I’m a blessed wife of nearly-twelve years, an exhausted mother of two darling toe-heads, and the founder of Throne of Grace. As a ministry-minded business, Throne of Grace seeks to equip others to live and leave a legacy of prayer. Along with a team of fantastic women much craftier than myself, I make and sell handmade sets of prayer books to help you pray through God’s Word, Bible verse memorization cards, prayer journals, and more. We also share a little space in the blogosphere on the Throne of Grace website HERE, where we share devotions, craft tutorials, recipes, and thoughts on marriage and parenting.

I first met Holly when she moved in across the street and we were both pregnant with our daughters. They were born 13 days apart! Soon after, we got to be a part of a neighborhood Bible study together and we shared in the challenges of adding a newborn to an already-busy family. At the time, Holly and Mike were also going through some big challenges with Mike’s job and I so admired the faithful way they navigated through those rough waters. It was such a blessing to watch them lean on the Lord through it all! That was five years ago and now I am excited to see how God is using Holly’s new blog as an avenue for sharing her faith and wisdom – and I’m honored she has asked me to guest-post today!

As a blogger myself, I’m always trying to determine the words God would have me share. So I love it when He hammers home the same message through multiple avenues. It leaves little room for doubt or confusion over His intended revelation!

This past week, God has been showing me over and over again how He specializes in making much of little. In fact, He is a Master of Multiplication!

The examples in Scripture are too numerous to count.

Do you remember the loaves and the fishes? In John 6, Jesus takes the lunch of a young boy – just 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish – and uses it to feed more than five thousand…with 12 basketfuls of food left over!

By God’s power, Elisha was able to perform a similar miracle when he allowed the widow’s small amount of oil to fill jar after jar until there were no jars left! (2 Kings 4:1-7)

It’s not just our material goods that are subject to the Lord’s multiplication. Think about the Bible characters who gave their “little” and were used by God to do great things…

Moses, who was slow of speech, was chosen as God’s spokesperson to the Israelites. (Exodus 4:10-12)

David, a young shepherd, slays the giant. (1 Samuel 17)

Joseph went from rags to riches, from despised brother and imprisoned slave to 2nd in command over Egypt. (Genesis 37; Genesis 41:41-43)

Holly and I had the joy of seeing God’s math at work this past weekend as nearly 60 of us gathered to assemble Blessing Bags.

We stuffed extra-large Ziploc bags with fleece blankets, cozy socks, water bottles, toiletries, a Bible and Bible tract, non-perishable food items, and more – then sealed them with a lot of love! The Blessing Bags are designed to be kept in the trunk of our car, ready to hand out at a moment’s notice to anyone in need.

The story behind these bags is a classic example of God’s ability to make much of little. Blessing Bags began as a little idea that my family had as a way to keep our focus on the giving rather than the receiving during the Christmas season. We wanted a way to resist the ever-increasing temptations of Christmas-excess and keep Christ at the center of our holidays. So as a family, we began to consider some ideas to help us experience sacrificial giving and we settled on “Project Blessing Bags”.

Figuring that filling the bags would be more cost-efficient if we purchased the essentials in bulk, we decided to invite our friends and family to join us in the endeavor. Within hours of sending out our initial email we had more than 40 bags ordered and people asking to post information about the project on their Facebook pages and blogs. Within the first week, God had given us willing partners ready to distribute bags in low socio-economic areas of Orange County, skid row in Los Angeles, and even the hardest hit areas in Hurricane Sandy’s path of devastation! His plan was much bigger than ours!

Over the course of the month of December, more than 40 families pooled over $2,800 to fund the creation of 150 Blessing Bags, including the cash to ship 20 bags back east to Hurricane Sandy victims!

No one person funded this project.

Each contributed their “little” – for some that was money, for some, time, some donated supplies, and some will distribute. But, wow! Look how “much” God was able to do with each family’s offering!

As I said, God has spoken this message of faith – of believing He can make much of little – in many areas of my life lately. I’ve even been convicted in my prayer life!

I have a friend who has been battling an impossible situation for years. From a human standpoint, there seems to be no hope. Though I pray for her regularly, it has been easy for me to minimize the importance of my prayers. After all, I’m one person and how much can one person’s prayers do?

And then God reminded me of Abraham. In Genesis 18:16-33, the Lord makes a personal visit to Abraham to let him in on a little secret – He is about to enact His judgment upon the immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah. It just so happens that Abraham’s favorite nephew and his family are residents of Sodom. So Abraham makes a plea for mercy and asks the Lord to spare the righteous living among the ungodly. Through the exchange between “little” Abraham and the Almighty God, the Lord agrees to spare the city if ten righteous people can be found. In the end, though there were not even ten righteous in Sodom, God listened to the heart of Abraham and mercifully saved his nephew and family. God made much of one man’s prayer!

I’m definitely feeling a renewed sense of passion and commitment to interceding on behalf of my hurting friend!

Have you ever felt powerless or ineffective? Maybe you are even paralyzed from moving forward in an area of your life because you feel your “little” just isn’t enough? Be encouraged! God is in the business of making much of your little.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength…But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Corinthians 1:25, 27-29 NIV)

If you have a good story of how God did some multiplication in your life, or if today’s post has offered the encouragement you need to move out in faith, we’d love to hear from you!

{Molly}

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