This post is dedicated to Harmon Cox who married my grandmother after my biological grandfather, and Harmon’s wife, passed away. “PaPaw Harmon” always made visiting fun, and I always felt wanted there. He would watch the Braves and cook the most delicous steaks and corn bread you’ve ever tasted. He let me play in his office with his office supplies and big old-timey calculator. He, nor my grandmother, ever wanted to lose their first spouse, their childrens’ parent, at such a young age.
But they allowed God to use his heavenly mathematics
to bless them for many many years.
When my step-grandfather died, I wanted to send his children and my cousins something special. I wanted to make it myself and include my favorite picture of him engaged in his famous, full belly-laugh.
The problem was, with a newborn and recent long-distance move, I was running on fumes. I didn’t have it in me to find my paints and brushes. Honestly, I don’t think I even knew where they were!
Instead, I threw together what I had: my kids’ markers and scrapbook paper, some cheesy office labels I found in a drawer and Dollar Tree frames. This was not going to be my typical “A Little Happy” gift, but it was honestly all I had to give during that season.
I was a little embarrassed to send these hodgepodge gifts. I mean, I knew I had more potential than markers and stickers. I had seen my work–although amateur–and it was well above these juvenile looking gifts. But what choice did I have? It was what I could give at the time.
This experience reminds me of our daily lives. How often are we just doing the best we can with what we have at the time? How often are we using what resources we have, but still feel like we fall short because it doesn’t measure-up to the standard we and society have set? How often are we embarrassed even though we really were giving it our all?
How loud do I need say this so the people in the back will hear? YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE AT THE TIME! You won’t always be able to give it your all. There will be days and seasons your “all” will be fabulous mediocrity. Do not carry embarrassment or shame for this. Do not worry about what you could have done better. Smother yourself with grace and move it along. If you are truly doing the best you can with what you have…this is enough.
I always hated math. Like hated. Ask Mr. Davis, my High School math teacher, how good I was at it. (Spoiler alert, I sucked.) But here’s some math I absolutely adore. Our God is a God of multiplication. He can take your pure-hearted efforts and multipy them into what He wants them to be: a big fat blessing to others.
The Bible doesn’t give us an exact measure of how good our deeds should be in human terms. He simply asks us to do them. He doesn’t command Pinterest-worthy projects and lives. He only asks that we do all things with great love ( 1 Corinthians 16:14), to His glory (Colossians 3:17) and as if doing them for the Lord. (Colossians 3:23)
I hope you find as much freedom in this truth as I do! We can move forward in good deeds and service knowing God can take them straight from our limited human hands to heaven and miraculously multiply them. So cook that meal you’ve been wanting to take to a sick friend. Send that “happy” to a buddy you miss. Host that playdate your kids have been begging for. None of these things need be done perfectly. As long as we are doing the best we can with what we have with great love to His glory and as if doing them for The Lord, He will be faithful to use His heavenly mathematics and multiply it to be enough.