As we pay attention to the outcry around us, it would seem the urgency of our situation demands us to galvanize into action. Who wouldn’t, when faced with an urgent need, step up to help? I am reminded of the story of Henri Nouwen in Peru. When he saw the street children, without shelter, food, and someone to look out for them, he said the pressure to move into action was almost unbearable. Yet, the true need was so much more than home and food. It almost felt ridiculous to say their greatest need was Jesus.
I think we sometimes feel that to answer the great needs in ourselves and in others first with “Jesus” takes us back to the Sunday school story of the teacher asking the kids what the picture was she was holding in her hand. A kid replied, “It looks like a squirrel, but I know it has to be Jesus because He’s the right answer for everything.” We laugh and relate on the surface, while deeper in our hearts we wrestle with the question, “Is Jesus really my most urgent need? Because right now I’m not sure how much further I can go without some form of relief.” And that’s our great tension. In this journey following Christ, there are patches of road really hard to navigate. Sometimes we don’t know how to do it, and sometimes we just don’t want to. What do we do with Jesus then?
Precisely here is where Jesus invites us to come, simply as children, yet with all the adult knowledge we’ve accumulated through the years. Come to Him, holding all the contradictions, confusion, stress, fear, irritations, injustices and complexities you have. It’s our five loaves and two fishes that we offer…so paltry in the face of the hunger of 5,000 people. When we start with Jesus, giving Him the little bit of whatever it is we have to give – even if to us it looks like nothing – He will do something with us we never could have imagined in us and in the world. It most likely will not be anything that makes sense to us. But if we start with Him, He will lead us through. Now…what lies within that might get in the way?
ACTION: What feels like your big need today? What is the thing that feels overwhelming? From your current vantage point, what does Jesus look like to you today? As you tell Him, be as honest as you can. He knows you, loves you and wants to walk further with you.