Today I want to reflect on two different responses to God’s call to us. First, I want to reflect on John 6, the story of the loaves and fishes. You may recall I have written about this story before. Not long ago,a sermon I heard about the little boy in John’s Gospel changed my life. Please click hereto read more about that. Today I want to look at a slightly different aspect of the same story thencompare the response of the little boy to Adam and Eve’s response when they atempted to hide themselves from God in the garden.When we hear God calling us, will our response be an enthusiastic giving of ourselves or will we instead hide behind our fig leaves?
In John 6 we see the little boy give all he could, five barley loaves and two fish, as his response to God’s call.When the disciples discovered that the people were hungry, and there was no place close by to get food, they asked the Master, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”And then, “One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,’There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;but what good are these for so many?” After the little boy waswilling to offer all he had, “Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.”
Although what the little boy gave was not much, God was able to make great things happen from a small response. The boy gave what he could and as a result five thousand people were fed. If we answer God’s call in our life, even with just a small response, He can make great things happen both in our life and in the lives of others.
On the other hand, after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, when they heard God’s call, they hid themselves. Gen: 3:7-8
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day,the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”
Many times in our lives we hear God calling yet we try to hide from His call. The story in Genesis could be somewhat humorous if it was not so true about the human condition. Can you imagine two full grown human beings realizing they have sinned against God and then thinking that simply by sewing some fig leaves together and hiding in the garden that the God of all creation would not find them?
There is no doubt that when we sin, we know we have sinned. In the classic case of the child taking the cookie from the cookie jar, the child knows they have done something wrong and they try denying it. We are all sinners. We all have our own fig leaves that we try to hide behind. In the eyes of God do we look as silly as Adam and Eve did with their fig leaves as we try to hide ourselves? What are the fig leaves that you hide behind in your life that prevent you from answering God’s call? God calls us into His service just as we are. There are not enough fig leaves in the world to hide us from God. He knows us as we are, sees us as we are, loves us as we are, died for our sins knowing who we are and calls us to His service just as we are. There really is no reason to hide from God’s call any longer.
God gave His only son for the forgiveness of our sins. He died on the cross to redeem us from our sinfulness. We no longer need to sew fig leaves together and hide. Let’s acknowledge our sins, and accept God’s forgiveness. Once we accept His forgiveness and no longer feel the need to hide, we can jump up enthusiastically and go running to Jesus just like the little boy. We can give all we can to Him when He calls, no matter how small it might be to us. When we respond to His call even in a little way, God can make big miracles happen.
Dear God: Open my eyes today to the silliness of trying to hide behind the fig leaves I have sown in my life. God I acknowledge I have sinned. I want to stop hiding from you. Help me to accept your loving forgiveness and to give all of myself to your call. Lord I pray that you would make big things happen even if my response to your call may be small. Amen!