I am a stress eater. I channel my anxiety into food. Which means I am pretty much-eating everything in sight these days! The other day, we sent our kids to the grocery store. Big mistake! Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful they went. But they came home with $200 worth of pop-tarts, oatmeal cream pies, chocolate frosting, and ice cream. It’s killing me! I am going to have to join Weight Watchers if this self-isolation lasts much longer!
One of the things I have learned about myself is that I have a scarcity mentality. I naturally get worried that there is not going to be enough. Not enough food that I want. Not enough money to go around. Not enough resources for me to thrive. And this scarcity mentality has really been triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. It gets me all worked up when I can’t find hamburger or pasta at the grocery store. Don’t get me started on toilet paper!
Of course, these are minor issues when compared to things like medical care or employment. Many in our community and church family are dealing with difficult questions over resources. It is easy right now to be anxious. It is easy right now to live in a mindset of scarcity. But here is what we need to focus on. Our God is a God unexpected abundance!
During my devotions this week, I was reading the Gospel of Mark, chapter 6. And in particular, the story of the feeding of the 5000. Where the crowds had flocked to Jesus. And the disciples come to Jesus and tell him to send the crowds away. Because there wasn’t enough food. In response, Jesus tells the disciples – “you give them something to eat.” (Mark 6:37). The disciples are flabbergasted! How could they possibly do that? Where could they find such an enormous quantity of food? All they had were a few loaves of bread and a few fish. They have a scarcity mentality. And it keeps them from seeing who Jesus really is.
As you know, Jesus takes the bread and blesses it. He breaks it and has the disciples pass it out to the crowds. And from a few loaves of bread and fish, thousands are fed. And there are even 12 baskets of leftovers! Our God is a God of surprising generosity!
Where am I going with this? Well, our mindset has a profound impact on how we live our lives. Our God has promised to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19). Not our wants. But our needs. Do you believe this? Do you trust that God is a God who is able and who desires to care for us? What can you do today to express your trust in God’s abundance?
And our mindset has huge implications for how we share with our neighbors. Most likely, if you are reading this, you have been greatly blessed. What about the others around you? What about your neighbor who has been forced into isolation by the pandemic? What can you do to reach out and share with them today?
Our God never wastes anything. God is going to use this time. Even having to go on a quest for hamburger meat and toilet paper. Even the very real anxiety we have over medical care and employment. God didn’t cause these things. But God is able to use these things to draw us all closer to the foot of God’s throne. So I challenge you today to turn to Him and ask Him for His abundance. And I will join you in asking for God to reveal God’s surprising generosity in your life today! God be with you! In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.