Every summer for those few middle school years I got to stay with my Dad’s brother, Uncle RT. During the day while he was at work I helped Aunt Vaiden do tasks around the house like fold laundry, prepare supper, clean up the dishes and sweep the kitchen floor. But every afternoon when Uncle RT got home, he would go out to his shop and work on chainsaw motors for his friends (ie customers) and I got to go hang out with him. In hindsight, I imagine Aunt Vaiden was all the more ready to have her kitchen back to herself, and she encouraged Uncle RT to ‘let’ me go with him to the shop. Nonetheless, I loved getting to spend time with him out playing in the shop while he worked.
The first thing he did in an attempt to get the chainsaws back running was to take the carburetor apart and clean it. He pulled a small step stool up to his workbench and I stood beside him as he methodically took bolts and screws out and separated parts to clean them. For the most part it was a typical routine, and quickly I learned the rhythm of the task. I would hand him the 3/16” ratchet or the Phillips head screwdriver as he needed them. And for me, I was helping, but mostly I was getting to spend time with my uncle.
At the end of my two weeks, my parents showed up to take me home. I remember Uncle RT bragging on me in front of my daddy about how helpful I was in the shop and how I had a ‘knack’ to know what tool he was going to need next and hand it to him just at the moment he needed it. “She could see what I needed.” I suppose that’s the first time I remember someone besides my parents bragging on me.
I think the apostle Andrew was like that in a way. Andrew and John were the first disciples to follow Jesus. They went and spent the day and evening with Him, listening to His teaching. The first thing that Andrew did was introduce his brother to Jesus. He saw a need and filled it. Look where that one introduction ended. Andrew’s brother was Peter! You know, the one who preached on Pentecost and three thousand people got saved!
Andrew was also the disciple who brought the young boy with two fish and five loaves to Jesus when they needed to feed fiv thousand. Andrew saw the only source of food that was available and took it to Jesus, knowing that little is much when we give it to the Lord.
Andrew is mentioned another time in Luke’s Gospel. It seems that a few Greeks had come to Philip and asked to meet Jesus. Philip, also an apostle, didn’t take them to Jesus, he took them to Andrew and asked Andrew to introduce them to Jesus. What a ‘knack” to be able to introduce people to Jesus Christ! To see the need and know that you can do that!
Andrew was not the bother who stood before magistrates and defended the Gospel. And the scripture never tells us that Andrew ever evangelized like his brother Peter. But Andrew was faithful to do what he was gifted to do. Nowhere is it ever suggested that Andrew was jealous of his brother’s gifting.
As I read through Luke and come to the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand, in the very next passage Jesus tells the story of the widow bringing her few coins to the temple offering and compares it to the Pharisee who drops his money into the offering bucket so that it will cling and make noise enough that everyone knew that he gave. Jesus teaches his apostles the value in giving all that you have. The widow’s mite was worth more than all the Pharisee’s money.
My takeaway from the apostle Andrew is to give what God has gifted me with. Little is much when we put it in the Master’s hands, and when I give with all my heart God will bless it.
Like Andrew, many of us will probably never stand onstage in front of thousands, but we can ask God to show us our ‘knack’ and do that.
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is ten years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 38 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.