We have decided, my husband and I, to downsize and simplify our lives. We are determined to live with less and to have more time to enjoy this life that has been given to us. We are content with what we have and where we are, knowing that God is bringing change into our lives. We are passing through one season onto another. I have been sorting through years worth of accumulation, donating, selling, trashing and giving away some stuff. I also have been doing some research and study, along with my prayers and conversations with God about it all. During this time I picked up a book about downsizing written by a Christian. Right away I got into the book. The author voices some of the same concerns that we had had about life being too busy and about things more than people. Then somewhere past halfway he says that God gives us “just enough”, giving the Manna in the wilderness as an example. That’s where he lost me.
Sure I know about the Manna. God gave them just enough, left overs rotted and got worms, He warned them, but they had to test it themselves. God tells us to be content in whatever state we are in, true (Phil 4:11). But what did Jesus show us by His example? Was he preaching the message of “just enough?” No, He said, “ The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10 Amp). He fed thousands, twice. One time they gathered up seven baskets of left-overs and another time twelve baskets. “ When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:12-13). Another time He called to His fisherman-disciples asking if they had caught any fish. At their answer of “no,” He instructed them to cast in the net one last time, to their astonishment there were so many fish, more than a normal nights catch, that it almost sank the boat! Now that doesn’t sound like “just enough” to me.
I would have been “enough” for Christ to die for a few, but He died for all. It would have been enough to just get us back from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His Father, but He didn’t stop there. Not only are we forgiven our sins He has redeemed us from the curse, given us health and life, given us all authority in heaven and earth, given us His Word, His Holy Spirit, I could go on like this for hours, but for the sake of the length of this blog I’ll stop here. He gave extravagantly, wondrously more than enough and promises that He wants to even give us “more than we could ask or think.” Jesus never wanted us to live day by day, that was never even God’s intention for the Children of Israel in the wilderness. He was taking them to the promised land, flowing with goodness. It was their stubbornness and lack of faith that got them to the dessert with Manna for breakfast, lunch and dinner. His desire for us is “MORE.”
Why does He provide more than enough? So we can share. Isn’t that what the gospel is all about? Sharing? I am sure that the author of that book wasn’t saying for us to be selfish, in fact part of the reason he gives for downsizing is to help others and spend more time working on relationships than running. I agree, we have gotten too busy, work, school, study groups, PTA meetings, Bible studies, ball practice, dance class, the gym, grocery shopping, picking up kids from the daycare, etc, etc, etc. But…we can’t limit God because of our messed up priorities. We choose how we spend our time. We choose what has our attention. He asks us to choose Him first. Then He promises to give us more than enough so that we can share it with others. “Freely you have received, freely give.”
So right now do you have “just enough” or maybe not even that much? Look at your priorities, look at your choices. Are you giving to God of your time, money and resources? Or are you like so many of us who have been caught up in life here on earth and just trying to get by? Sometimes we get just enough because of our stubbornness and lack of faith, but remember that isn’t His will for us. His will is and always has been, and forever will be to give us everything He has. Period.