I’ve heard it said that it’s the moments that define us. Like Abraham marking the spot on Mount Moriah where he was willing to sacrifice all and found favor in the sight of The Living God, we all have our moments.
I was 19 and running. I was pregnant and alone. My boyfriend had made it abundantly clear that I was on my own. He not only wanted nothing to do with the baby, but was threatening me, so I ran. I didn’t tell my family about the pregnancy. Oddly at around 6 1/2 months in, my father in Ohio heard from his neighbor (who I’d met once) that I was expecting. Dad called Mom in Florida and Mom called me in Georgia. I finally confessed then because I knew at some point, it would have to come out (in more ways than one).
Less than a year before, I was a good Christian girl planning Bible college and touting the benefits of abstinence to my friends as if I knew anything. Then I broke. A few months passed and I was there on my living room floor sinking in reality. How on earth was I going to support this baby? The job I’d secured before moving to Georgia had fallen through leaving me working at Wendy’s for $4.75 an hour. That particular day, they’d cut my hours.
That night, in my Wendy’s uniform, I finally reached the end of me. I remember the taste of the tears as I cried out to the Lord. I remember the longing of my broken heart, the desire to raise my child in the ways of the Lord, the desire to offer my child so much more than I had ever had. I remember the moment. I remember the prayer. In my heart, I see that altar, my Mount Moriah, standing as a testament in my memory of the moment I gave in. The moment I was willing to give it all to my King and the moment he freed me and began to rebuild me.
That wasn’t my only Moriah. The thing about offering ourselves as living sacrifices Romans 8 style is that living sacrifices can crawl off the altar from time to time. I know I’ve taken my life back into my hands more times than I can count. It’s then that we have to look back and remember those Moriah moments. I know my way isn’t the best choice. He always knows what he’s doing.
The truth is, that baby he blessed me with was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. She grounded me, pulled me back to the cross, realizing that I couldn’t do it alone. She propelled me to stop wasting time and start working toward an education and a future so I could make a better life for her. She was exactly what I needed. She was the greatest gift my longing heart could have ever received.
I watch her now, almost grown, and I’m so thankful for the young lady she’s become. She amazes me daily. You see, God doesn’t just give us beauty for ashes. He redeems and recreates. He produces life out of nothing. I was reading in John when Jesus fed the multitude with just a few loaves and fishes. What amazes me is not that he multiplied the small, but that he made sure nothing was lost. John 6:12 “So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” God doesn’t waste our moments, he multiplies them and gathers up the fragments. He makes sure nothing is lost. Nothing is left behind. He will take every fragment of our broken lives and redeem it into something useful and lovely. It may look like smelly fish and simple bread now, but just wait. Soon, he may use you to feed a multitude. You could become the miracle.
He took my fragments and gave me a miracle and he’s still building. I can’t wait to see what he does next. But it’s all dependent on our willingness to allow him to take our loaves and fishes. Give him your stuff, all of it, and watch him do something incredible.