In the past few years it has seemed as though God is working on small areas of my life at a time. Before the little girls were born, the message was definitely waiting. Waiting on God's timing. Daring to be idle and letting God work. Learning that there is nothing that God needs me to do for Him. He is sufficient without my help. What I do is out of my great love for Him and not because He needs me in any way.
Then, it seemed I moved on to working on serenity and fearlessness. I may never live up to my mental image of what it means to be serene, but God has really been working on my fear. I am a world-class worrier. If I don't have enough real things to worry about, I am quite capable of coming up with a whole list of imaginary things to worry about. I am not completely fear-free, but there has been so much that has happened in the last year and a half and so much was out of my control, that I got to practice handing my worries and fears over to God. A lot. And practicing something really does make it more automatic. I am at least aware of when my thoughts are beginning to head off in the fear and worry direction. The minute they do, I try to consciously always give those fears and worries over to God. Because I've already supposedly learned that God is in charge and I'm not.
This fearlessness-thing is still a work in progress, but I'm feeling nudges towards something new these days. That would be learning to focus on God's abundance. I believe I've mentioned more than once that I have definite miserly tendencies. While it is good to not be wasteful of one's money, I sometimes feel that I take it a bit too far. In some areas of my life I can be grudging with my generosity and secretly worry if we will have enough. Being frugal can put us into a scarcity mind set. A mind set that says there isn't enough... food, money, time, love... to go around.
This is not how I want to live, and it certainly isn't how God shows us He works. When He created the earth, He didn't do it halfway. Think of the abundance of the different types of plants and animals. The abundance of stars. When Jesus fed the crowds, they all ate their fill. They all had enough. More than enough, there were baskets left over. In the vision of Heaven which Isaiah shares in 25:6 we see abundance.
"On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow,
of aged wine well refined."
And God abounds in love. His offer of salvation is open to anyone who repents and calls on the name of Jesus. God's love never runs out or runs dry. Therefore our love can never run out or run dry if we allow God to be our source.
And that's the crux of it all isn't it? Who is our source and who is the real owner of all these things in our lives? If we start to mistakenly assume that we are the possessors of our things, the source of our income, the director of our time, the originator of our love, we become impoverished. We may still have disposable income, but we have made our souls disposable as well.
What changes if we realize that we are not in charge of anything? What happens if you start with the assumption that ALL of your money is God's? ALL your time is God's? ALL your love comes from God? For me, what is important changes, because I'm constantly asking myself what does God want me to do with this food, time, money, space, love. It allows me to be extravagant. Don't you love that word? Imagine being able to be extravagant with your money and sharing it with someone who needs it. Imagine being extravagant with your home and opening it up to others. Imagine being extravagant with your love. Love is the most costly of all, yet, because God abounds, we can be extravagant with our love. Imagine the possibilities.
Who wants to join me in focusing on God's abundance this year? Because I've found, when you stop focusing on the fear, you can see the abundance.