Being a Leftover Of Life (Joy Ndanu)

I have had crazy schedules mothering and fathering at the same time. I thank the Lord who daily loads us with his grace enough to carry us each day. Imagine you are having dinner at the table, baby eats half of her food and the teenager doesn’t like greens so he picks the rest and leaves the greens on the plate. At the end of it, all dinner plates have small pieces of half-eaten, half-bitten pieces of food. Next, you clear the table and end up at the sink and carefully place all of the leftover pieces in the dustbin waiting for tomorrow to either be thrown away or to be fed to animals. That’s the fate of leftovers. They are no longer beautiful, hardly recognizable. You can’t tell if it was rice or ugali in the mixture.

I have often thought about the story of leftovers, and I find it greatly relating to our lives. Many of us and especially in this group are leftovers from different experiences of life. The leftovers from once-great marriages, great families, great dreams that never materialized. Sometimes I feel that way, no longer recognizable, not knowing who we are anymore. Some were used and dumped and left for the dead. Where there was glamor now there is a shame, joy has been replaced by sorrow and bitterness, hope replaced by gloom. The stigma of single parenthood or divorce, or even widowhood replaces the beautiful meal we once were at the table of our loved ones. I have often asked Does God really care?

Luke (9:10-17) talks of a feeding scenario that happened in Jesus’ time and once the feeding was over, Jesus instructed to collect all the leftovers so that none could go wasted. I want to introduce someone who cares about the leftovers, and His name is Jesus. Not only did Jesus care about the meal but he also cared about what was leftover. In Him there is a place for the broken, the unwanted, the trampled down upon, the stigmatized. There is also a place for the teen mother, the divorced, and even for the ostracized. In him, we have an identity that we are valued and equally loved. Your people might call you a failure but Jesus sees success in you. Our God is not a waster, he never throws away what belongs to you. He does not unnecessarily cause us to cry or go through pain. He has not allowed us to be broken for anything, he has a purpose for this brokenness. Great people are born out of this, great marriages and ministries are born out of brokenness.

Do you find yourself today feeling like a leftover? Don’t worry you are precious in his sight, he has a place for you. Trust him in this season, let him accomplish his purpose in your brokenness. It might not be easy but the only way is to place yourself in the hands of the one who knows the value of the leftovers. Let what God says about you be your guiding principle. If he says you are precious then that settles it, believe and trust him.


Dear heavenly father thank you for every member here who feels like a leftover. We know even in our brokenness, you love us and desire that none should be lost. We know circumstances in our lives have left us wounded and broken but we thank you because Jeremiah (29:11) you have a good plan for us. Help us to trust in you as you recreate our stories and as you give us a new identity.
We thank you for what you're doing.
You do not waste our pain, or our tears, or our brokenness. We know it will work for our good. Help us to trust you in the process. In Jesus name, Amen!

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