Tell Me, What Do You Have?
Years ago, before I really studied the Bible, I used to think about readings in Bible as a collection of stories and lessons that a Pastor used to illustrate some life lessons. I would attend church (a traditional mainstream church denomination), listen to the readings, listen to the Pastor’s story, and then pretty much forget about most of what I heard. My faith was there, but wasn’t really being lived out, and I wasn’t growing in it much.
Later in life I would occasionally join in on a women’s Bible study. At times it was hard for me to keep up with the readings and lessons. Often times the questions in the Bible study book were left blank or had one- to two-word answers. Not much digging and depth there for sure.
Looking back, I see that there were a few dynamics at play in my life that contributed to this parched spiritual life that I lived:
– I didn’t understand the Bible. All I had and knew was the King James Version, I couldn’t get past all the archaic language to grasp what I was reading.
– Attending Church was something that I really wanted as a child, but as an adult I didn’t find that the mainstream church that I attended was filling me up and touching my soul.
– I began to treat church and my faith as an obligation, and something that took up a good portion of my otherwise cherished weekend.
– I was wrapped up in the world – distractions abounded and they took priority: television programs, work, and the never ending pursuit of filling the empty hole in my soul with things. I was never satisfied with what I got, whatever it was, I wanted more. Nice house, new cars, swimming pool, lots and lots of clothes, new makeup, you know how it goes.
Then it changed, I found a church that filled my soul, it made me feel excited about my relationship with God. I wanted to learn, to grow in my faith. It was then that I obtained a Bible translation written in a way I could understand. Then, I found study Bibles in that translation. Finally, I had people much smarter than myself imparting their wisdom so that I could really understand just what verses meant. My faith and my knowledge of the Bible grew, but I still wasn’t too dependent upon God.
God was slowly moving me and my understanding of my relationship with Him towards something different than what I knew. As the dynamics of my life changed, I went from having a career, to giving it all up to take care of my brother when he had a terminal illness. The extra care that Scott required used up all of his financial resources and all of mine too. After my brother died. I was moved to a different level of understanding about God. Through a few people, He graciously provided for me.
He moved me across the country a few times. Each time required complete reliance upon Him, along with a step of faith. And, each time God provided me just enough to get me to the next step. It’s like the Psalmist said: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105, ESV). Back in the day the the Psalmist wrote that verse, the Israelites only had candles or oil lamps to light their path in the dark – they couldn’t see very far. That’s what God was doing with me, He was lighting up my path just enough to take the next step.
Taking each step along the way with God brought me to where I am today. My life now with my husband is wonderful. And, while we are not rich, we do have just enough. When we need to do something, God provides us with the resources to do so, and it’s always just enough to get us through. We’re not amassing great riches, or extravagant things. We seem to have just enough to meet whatever happens next. It keeps me humble and grateful for everything that we have. And, most of all, it keeps me dependent upon God.
What I’ve learned is this: God wants us to trust Him to meet our daily needs. Since everything that I have all belongs to God anyway, I know that He is the provider of everything. And, God provides me all that I need. Martin Luther King, Jr said: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, ESV)
So, what do I have? Well, enough Lord, I have just enough.
How about you? What do you have?