Rings. You are probably wearing one today. I can remember just about every ring I have ever owned. I remember the excitement of ordering my ring for high school. My graduation ring was the first ring of some value I ever owned. I cherished it. I've had other rings since then. But in reality, I can only recall having a few rings. My college ring. My football state championship ring. That's three. I have one more ring that means more to me than any of the others, my wedding ring. I didn't know what it was going to look like until Kristin put it on my finger at the altar. It wasn't even on my mind. What was on my mind was the significance of that ring. A covenant between me and my wife with God. A sacred covenant.
We use rings for so many things: marriage, graduation, sports success, even fashion and fun. Some are expensive, some are less expensive. They all signify something to the owner.
Last year at the GLS in Ethiopia, I was with part of our team at the Woliso site (pictured above). One talk really seemed to stand out to the leaders there in Ethiopia. Albert Tate shared a beautiful insight on the feeding of the five thousand. He drew our attention to the boy who brought five loaves and two fish to Jesus. Imagine the moment. A young boy looks out over the massive crowd. Then he gazes down into his bag. Maybe he had just caught those fish for his family. Maybe he caught more fish and traded them for the bread. It wasn't much, but it had to mean something to this young boy. But he brought it to Jesus. He brought what he had. And then he got to witness Jesus do the miraculous with his (seemingly) small offering. Albert Tate shared that we need to just bring what we have to Jesus, and watch Him do the miracle.
On the last day of the conference, we watched all the leaders there bring their offerings. As we were getting ready for the last session, one of the local leaders came up to me to share what was in the offering. I was expecting him to give me a number. He reached out his hand and showed me something that I was never expecting... a small, gold ring.
Our team is finishing up this years Ethiopia GLS. God has been on the move in Ethiopia through this conference. Pray for our team to come home safe. But pray for the seeds that have been planted in the local leaders to grow. Pray that their offerings, big and small, would be brought to Jesus. Pray for God to reveal opportunities for you to be that young boy. Bring what you have in worship. Bring what you have to your family. Bring what you have in the workplace. Offer what you have to Jesus and watch Him do what only He can do.