Giving it All

There’s this scene in the Bible where thousands of people are gathered to hear Jesus teach. Only it’s getting late. People are hungry. And the only food around is in the possession of a young boy. He has five loaves of bread and two fish. Nowhere near enough to feed the crowd.

When I read this story, I can’t help but wonder….

Did that boy worry over the smallness of his offering? Did he think about breaking the loaves into teeny-tiny pieces? Was he tempted to keep the food to himself?

Any of these would be normal reactions. Human reactions. Because the task before him was 100% impossible.  

Until he gave the food to Jesus. And somehow, those five loaves and those two fish fed five thousand. 
How silly would it have been if the boy had taken credit? He didn’t feed those people. He didn’t perform the miracle. He didn’t multiply the food.

But he did give his all.

Dan Walsh, author of The Unfinished Gift, talked about this story in one of the workshops I attended at the ACFW conference last weekend.

And it hit me with so much power. So much truth.

There are people who try to break up the bread and do impossible things on their own.

There are people who don’t even try, because they see the impossibility before them.

And there are people like that boy. A kid who gave everything, knowing it was nowhere near enough. But he gave it anyway and trusted Jesus with the rest.


I want to be like that kid. I want to put forth my best effort. I want to give God my all. But at the end of the day, I want to remember that my all will never be enough. So if or when God chooses to multiply the work of my hands, I won’t ever question who deserves the credit.

Let’s Talk: Are you more tempted to try to do it all on your own, or are you more tempted to not try at all?  


27 thoughts on “Giving it All

  1. […] We can bring our five loaves and our two fish to the table. But at the end of the day, God decides what He’s going to multiply.Β  […]

  2. Margaret Daley

    Love this. Thanks!

  3. Gina Conroy

    I've tried to do it on my own so many times before with not much success, now I do what I can and hand it over to the Lord and move on. It's soooo freeing!!

    And right now my poor character is spinning her wheels trying to do it all without God. But she'll learn the hard way that it's better to surrender than to fight alone!

  4. Cathy

    Folk singer John McCutcheon says the loaves and fishes story is the greatest miracle of the Bible. Taking that first step, being the first one to put in an offering or volunteer, is terrifying. . .especially when you can see the problem is much bigger than the solution you have. Believing God can do a miracle with our tuna sandwich requires faith and courage! Let's be brave and believe together!

  5. Jill Kemerer

    I 100% love this post, Katie! It's so true. It's easy to doubt our abilities, to see the giant loaves of bread our neighbor is offering, and to think our own isn't good enough. Thanks!

  6. Marji Laine - Unravel the Mystery

    Oh my gosh, this is so good! I'm the type that will bury my head under the covers and think, "What's the point if I can't make a difference?" But then, making the difference isn't my job.

    There's God's part and my part. My job is to be faithful, even when I have no clue how things will work. God's part is everything else!

    And He's amazingly good at it!

  7. Terri Tiffany

    I have been taught that lesson over and over in the past month–trying to do this move in my power but he always brings me to my knees and reminds me how much I need Him!

  8. Jeannie Campbell, LMFT

    i think we all try to do it on our own at some point. to me, it's a daily struggle to give up that selfish desire….but it rarely makes sense, since keeping it in-house is more stressful than not!

    the character therapist

  9. MaryC

    I love the phrase "Let go and Let God."

    Unfortunately, I need to be reminded of it more often. Like most everyone else here, I do for myself. I wonder how much of that has to do with so many of us being moms. We're automatically in the habit of doing.

    Thanks for a beautiful post, Katie.

  10. Stacy Henrie

    Beautiful insights! I think I try to do things more on my own. But when I involve the Lord that is when my efforts are magnified.

  11. Heather Sunseri

    We were riding the same brain wave this morning, Katie. I love the message here. I'm always wondering how in the world I'm supposed to make something from the mess I have created in front of me. And the answer is that I'm just supposed to do the best with what I've got and leave the rest up to Him.

  12. Jennifer K. Hale

    Love it when the wisdom of my friends speaks to me. πŸ™‚

  13. Keli Gwyn

    What a beautifully written post with a powerful message, Katie.

    Sadly, I've spent too much of my life trying to do it myself. I'm learning to let go and watch the wonderful things God does with and through this "cracked pot." He amazes me all the time.

  14. Loree Huebner

    Outstanding post.

    I would rather try to do something on my own, then not try at all.

    Every year that passes by shows me that I was never on my own, even when I thought I was…I always had a great partner at my side.

  15. Holly

    So very true! Beautifully stated, lady!

    Love you,

  16. Lisa Jordan

    Such a lovely post, Katie.

    I'm more of a do it myself type of person, but I used to be afraid to even step out on my own to try. God worked on my heart and gave me courage. Noe He's working on me to let Him lead. πŸ™‚

  17. Michelle DeRusha@Graceful

    I love this because I have never, ever thought about the role of the boy in that story. A new perspective on a familiar story!

  18. Erica Vetsch

    His comment has stuck with me too. A whole new take on marketing. Freeing and humbling and exciting too.

  19. ElizaO

    What a beautiful reminder where we need to place our trust and efforts. I think I'm guilty of trying to do it all my own and not trying at all – mostly just depends on what it is.

  20. Eileen Astels Watson

    Oh, good question. And my answer–it depends. Some things I give my all and add a lot of prayers, other things I walk away from. I'm sure God is disappointed with me doing that at times. One day He'll give me what for, I'm sure!

  21. Slamdunk

    Great message Katie.

    I fail in both ways equally–rationalize that it can't be done and trying to do it all on my own.

  22. Joanne

    Generally, I'm more tempted to try things on my own before not trying at all. I'd rather not have the regret of not-trying …

    Clicked over from Jill's to say Hi πŸ™‚

  23. Jessica R. Patch

    I'm more tempted to do it on my own rather than not trying it all. I prefer partnering with God! πŸ™‚

  24. Jessica Nelson

    To do it on my own. I don't like help from other people. I feel like I'm being an imposition or something when someone helps me. But I love God's help and I try to let others help me when they offer.
    I don't think that boy worried at all. He was a kid and I think that's why God loves kids so much. They just trust that adults know what they're doing. lol

  25. Wendy Paine Miller

    Yes, tempted to do it on my own.

    Speaking to me today!
    ~ Wendy

  26. Natalia Gortova

    Wow. I think fear holds me back a lot more often than i'd like to admit.
    Thanks for challenging me with this post.

  27. Laura Pauling

    I'd say I'm more tempted to do it on my own. I always have to watch out for that.


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