Open Your Hand

2006 Paul Marxhausen All Rights Reserved

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Comments: This song was prompted by all the losses suffered along the Gulf coast. I guess I looked at the verse "the eyes of all look to You , and You give them their meat in due season" and thought, Wow, God, You'd better come through here because there are a LOT of people looking to You right now. So the song actually comes out of doubt and feeling overwhelmed. But it comes back to what is mentioned at the 3rd verse, which quotes from "He who did not spare His only Son, will He not also freely give us all things?"

But I know that OUR giving is how God "opens His hand" too, which is why the second verse and chorus about opening OUR hand. Still . . . I felt kind of uneasy, writing that. I can't imagine the disciples, or us, having the ego to take credit for the miraculous provision of God in feeding the thousands. It's a strange story. Maybe the disciples had seen enough by that point that they figured, just maybe Jesus could pull something off to feed all those people, but he asks THEM, "Whadda ya got? Come on, give it up. " And they are flustered because they have such an absurdly small contribution to offer.

But it's enough. God's grace is not just that He is enough for all our needs, but that what we are able to give is enough for Him, too. We may want to give Him all we can, but often even the best of our abilities and contributions are pathetic offerings.

What struck me this week was that this is not just about money or resources I contribute to this or that ministry. I look at all the tasks God has allowed to land in my lap: the projects stacked up at my job, the labyrinths of my aging parent's finances and legal affairs, the musical opportunities and responsibilities, family needs, interminable household projects, you can write your own list and it's probably longer and more daunting than mine. God has been teaching me to take things day by day and to trust that He's handling things, but it's easy to sigh at how inadequate our efforts are, at how there's not enough time, at how long some things appear to take. What comforts me about the story of feeding the multitudes is that Jesus doesn't come back and say, "What? Only TWO fish? Well, if you had a dozen maybe I could DO something here, but . . . ." No, He asks only for what they have to give.

Maybe this is an obvious thing to the rest of you but grasping it has made it easier for me to go to sleep at night, and to get up in the morning, and to focus on the one little loaf of bread or the fish that I'm giving God today, and letting Him make it be . . . enough.