My children have a better life than my siblings and I had growing up. Well, let me rephrase that sentence: They have more than we had. And yet, they always WANT more, but we are teaching them to appreciate what they have. For instance, a choice between having spaghetti, hotdogs, or chicken nuggets seems like plenty of quality options for a child-friendly lunch. Those choices might be fine on Monday, but the rest of the week, I’m met with sighs, grunts, or a, “Why can’t we go to (fill in the restaurant)?”
At a certain age, the complaints from the older children require more of a “reality check” response. I share with them how my mother often created a feast with a few potatoes, an onion, and ketchup. Or how she wouldn’t dare waste milk on making hot chocolate or tomato soup. She raised us to appreciate the small things. And although we may not have had a lot, we weren’t without.
Lead Pastor Ben Snyder said, “Sometimes we get closed-hearted and closed-minded because we look at what we have and think, ‘It’s just not enough.’” All of us must be open to offering God what we have instead of focusing on what we lack.
I used to think a broken marriage, multiple sclerosis, and a lack of money would have given my Mom justification to think that she had had enough of not having enough. There were days when her spirit was broken, and she lacked strength. Sometimes, a little faith was all she had to offer to God. Thankfully, he used that to make an eternal difference in her life, which she used to make a difference in mine.
As I said, we’re teaching our kids to appreciate what they have, but we’re also encouraging them to want more of what they NEED. I felt so proud when our oldest daughter stepped toward fulfilling that need when she recently decided to get baptized.
When have you experienced God using your or someone else’s “not enough” to make a difference? Do you trust that God gives you what you need? Do you find yourself wanting more of the wrong things? Are you open to giving God what you have?
Practice giving to God first. Take GrowthTrack to unlock your spiritual gifts and understand your purpose. Pray and seek guidance when you feel like what you have isn’t enough.
God, help me appreciate the things, the life, and the purpose you have given me. Keep my heart open to share and give as you designed, and help me to remember that you can use what I have to offer, even when it doesn’t seem to be enough. May my faith guide me to see our community’s needs instead of focusing on my own wants. Amen.
This post was written by Jaron Camp, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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