Gather the Leftovers






“After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, ‘Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.’” John 6:12

Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.

How many times have I thrown things out because they were leftovers, crumbs, fragments of something once whole? If it appears useless to me, I toss it. Sure, I may save it for a bit thinking that it may be useful one day, but I usually throw it out to make room for something better, more whole.

But Jesus said to gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted. Nothing is wasted.

That means my yucky past is not wasted. That means all my failures are not wasted. That means all the times I meant to trust God, but did it my way are not wasted.

That means that I am not a waste. That means that God does not see me as a leftover, but as something worth gathering to Himself and making whole again. That means that God sees potential in the brokenness of my life; that all of my life – good and bad – can be used for His glory.

Everything can be used for His glory.

Everybody, no matter how broken, is valuable.

That person that I avoided eye contact with so I didn’t have to get involved…nothing is wasted.

That woman who is holding up the grocery line as she searches for her food stamps…nothing is wasted.

The haunting past that I try so hard to run away from…nothing is wasted.

The tears that come so easily as I try to be so brave, but know that I’m dying inside…nothing is wasted.

God is in the business of renewing and redeeming. He takes everything that has happened to us and everything that we have done wrong and restores it, renews it, redeems it, and reuses it.

If we let Him.

See that’s the thing, isn’t it? God can make a miracle out of anything, but we have to let Him have it all. It’s surrender. It’s a cry out to God asking Him to take it all and make it beautiful.

It’s releasing to Him the anger, the pain, the heartache, the brokenness. It’s choosing to forgive others and ourselves. It’s making the decision that today is the day that I leave the past where it belongs and choose to walk with Jesus. It’s deciding that today is the best day of my life, that today is where I want to live and breath and think about. It’s telling God that He can use me wherever, whenever, but let’s start today.

Thank you, God, for taking the fragments of our lives, what the world, what we would view as leftovers and gathering them to you. Thank you for looking past the mess and seeing the potential of a great message of restoration and redemption. Thank you, God, for taking what was meant for bad and using it for such good.

Nothing is wasted. Let God gather your fragments, your leftovers, and restore you. You are not wasted. Your life is not wasted. You are a miracle waiting to happen.