I Only Have…

When we give what we have to God, he can do great things with it.

“I only have…”

The starting place of miracles!  Once, as Jesus was teaching, a crowd of thousands listened long into the afternoon.  The sun sank and shadows grew, yet the people remained.  Their stomachs growled, but the hunger in their souls was greater, so they stayed and listened.  When Jesus told the disciples to feed them, they looked at all the people and said, “We only have five loaves of bread and two fish.”  (Matthew 14:17)  Jesus said, “Bring them here to me,” and fed the thousands with it.

“I only have…”

Same thing the woman told the prophet Elisha when she came to him for help.  “What do you have in your house?” he asked her.  “I only have a little olive oil,” she replied.  He instructed her to gather all the jars she could find and pour the oil from her jar into all the other containers.  She did as he instructed and the oil did not stop flowing until all her jars were filled.  (Kings 4:6)

“I only have…”

Just what the servants thought right before Jesus’ first miracle.  The wine had run out long before the wedding reception was over, an embarrassment for the host and a bad omen for the newly married couple.  All they had was a collection of empty water jugs.  “Fill the jugs with water,” Jesus told them.  When they did as they were told, Jesus turned the water into the best wine the guests had ever tasted!  (John 2:3-11)

Do you ever find yourself focusing on what you don’t have?  “I don’t have enough talent…  resources… support,”  “I don’t have enough money… opportunity.” We look at life’s challenges and give up hope because of what we don’t have.  Focusing on the negative always stops us short, but when we bring to God what we do have, little as it may seem to us, the miraculous can happen.  “I only have…” is the starting place for the unbelievable.

God knows what we have and don’t have.  The secret is taking what we have and placing it in God’s hands. When we give what we have to God, he can do great things with it.  Moses had only a shepherd’s staff, but he led an entire nation to freedom. David had a slingshot and conquered a giant.  Daniel had just a prayer mat, yet he was saved from the mouth of lions. Peter had an empty fishing net and Jesus filled it with a boat-sinking catch.  Each of these divine moments began with: “I only have…”

What is it you have?  Take a quick mental inventory and think of what you have, little as it may seem to you.  A few fillets and a couple of cakes of bread became a bottomless basket of food.  Just before this happened, Jesus said to his disciples: “Bring them here to me.”  You can do the same.  Bring what you have to Jesus, and watch what it becomes in his hands.


“[God is] able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

Ephesians 3:20

Next Steps

  1. Take a regular water glass and let it represent your life.
  2. Fill it with the amount of water that best represents how full you feel your life is.
  3. Put it down and take a good look at it. How full is it?  Three quarters? Half?  Less than half?  Are you happy with the level of your glass?
  4. Hold the glass in your hands and offer it to God in prayer as a gift.
  5. Bring the glass back to the faucet and fill it to the brim. This is what God will do with the gift you give him.


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