In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.24                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

Have you ever been in a workplace or ministry where different groups compete with each other for resources, building their own little kingdoms (silos)? Patrick Lencioni's latest book on leadership addresses this very issue in his usual creative way. Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars: A leadership fable about destroying the barriers that turn colleagues into competitors (Jossey-Bass, 2006; 210 pages). It's definitely worth a look.

Hope Happenings

Classes have started again this week for the Fall semester. We have lots of freshmen on campus trying to feel comfortable with this new world they've stepped into - new people, new environment, new lifestyles. Please pray for them during these first days of adjustment.

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

It is one thing to be empty, but when you are asked to feed someone out of your emptiness, it can be terrifying."  (Macrina Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels)

_____________________________

Crumbs

We've all experienced it. Dryness. Barrenness. Emptiness.

Someone comes to us and asks for help and we have so little to give. They want advice, and we have barely a word. They look for emotional support and we have only a sliver of compassion left. The world demands so much of us that we find ourselves often running on empty. We have nothing left for our spouse, our children, our extended family, our neighbors, or our church community.

We can feel so incompetent or foolish. We'd like to appear wise in everyone's eyes, but how can light break through our fog? In a world where quantity of words seems to matter more than quality, and where silence is an enemy not a friend, our parched souls grow terrified.

Crumbs. That's all we've got. And a prayer, though our prayers don't seem terribly sublime. Futility takes hold. Desperation starts to grip us. Our lives should be green pastures and still waters, not parched landscapes.

Then Christ speaks gently - and patiently - through the Scripture.

Paradoxically, as is usual in the Kingdom, our helpfulness does not demand lush greenery, rich harvests, or overflowing cisterns. It flows not from our abundance but from our poverty. When we are weak, His power dwells in us (see 2 Corinthians 12.9). He takes the crumbs - the scraps we have left in our lives - and feeds others in ways we could not imagine.

The widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17) gathered sticks to prepare a last meal for her son and herself. Elijah, the prophet, asked her for bread, though she had only a handful of flour and a few drops of oil left in this world. She hesitated (as we all would), then obeyed (as many of us wouldn't). And the flour and the oil miraculously multiplied.

A young boy offered his small lunch to help feed a crowd (John 6.5-13). His mother had packed enough for him, not 5000 others. But in the hands of the Master, it miraculously multiplied. It still does.

When we think our lives ought to be highly productive bakeries, Christ takes the dry crumbs that we obediently offer Him, and continues to do the unexpected.

Feeling dry? Empty? Barren? The way forward lies in surrender not striving. The miracle of nourishment is His miracle, if we'll trust Him.

In HOPE -

David

Want to chat more on a topic? Hit "Reply" and share your thoughts.

If you have received this e-publication from family or friends and would like to subscribe to "In HOPE" simply email djtimms@hiu.edu and write "Subscribe to In HOPE" in the subject line. This is a free service, with no advertisments and no sharing of the e-list. Unsubscribe in the same way.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/