Never a Lack

While we do have a budget for many household items and specifically for groceries, it isn’t always possible to stay within that budget.  (Doesn’t mean I don’t try though.)  Often there seems to always be some unplanned for grocery need such as meals to take to others, extra church fellowships, or even just extra food to prepare for guests.  While I used to do lots of Once-A-Month cooking, that has drifted to the wayside over the past few years, need to start back.  But never once have we had to do without.  Not only that, no matter how many extra meals or mouths, we’ve always had enough.  We can’t out give the Lord.

Reminds me of the widow of Zarephath:

1 Kings 17:8-16 (ESV)

8 Then the word of the Lord came to him,
9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”
11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
12 And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son.
14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’ ”
15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days.
16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

While it is not wise to be presumptuous and test the Lord by ignoring following a budget and spending away everything continually, that also means that we don’t have to have in-hand plenty before we give it away.  The Lord with cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) can surely spare some ground beef in order to feed a brother and sister in Christ.  Sometimes even He provides a steak. 🙂

Organizing Mommy has noticed the same thing in God’s Provision:

… In the same way, a mom, a wife who chooses to go without a paying career because she wants to homeschool, a homemaker who wants to feed the entire world that steps through her home, or really anyone who ministers to anyone in anyway does so in faith. The amount of risk and responsibility a person takes on, increases the amount of provision they need. In a sense, it makes their needs larger. Their need for God’s provision is greatly increased. Whether it is for food, for energy, for wisdom, for a better way to order life, or just plain encouragement, the need is big. The servants of God who have a serving lifestyle have a big list of things they need from God.

In contrast, small-need people are people who can’t allow themselves any amount risk so there will be no real need for God’s provision. Every need that is known has to have a known provision, well ahead of time.

They would probably call it careful planning. I’ll call them small-handed people. They still have hands, no doubt. But God can only place in their hands a small amount because there really is no room in their hands for anything more. …

So according to Organizing Mommy’s analogy are you small handed or large handed?

Do you trust the Lord to provide? Or do you live in fear of lack?

Do you cling tightly to what little you have?  Or do you share the abundance of your heavenly Father?

Every time I’ve heard anyone speaking about a mission trip they have always shared how even those with nothing themselves are so eager to share their little.  What about you?



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10 thoughts on “Never a Lack

  1. We read in scripture about the widow of Zarephath, the five and four thousand being fed by Jesus etc. And the reality of it is, they are just nice Bible stories to us.

    Then we close our Bibles, and our hands, and experience that which is written in Haggai 1 v6, which tells us, in our lack of faith in God, we are putting money into a bag with holes.

    Well, rather than experience that, why not rather experience what God says in Malachi about God pouring out a blessing on us.

    Let’s face it. We will experience one or the other.

    It’s just a matter of which.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Dora,

    You have a very good point. Why can we teach our children all these events in the Bible and yet when tested ourselves we doubt the Lord’s ability to provide for us? Does the Lord care for us any less than He did those in the OT? Of course not! It is easy to say we believe the Bible but until we really put our faith into it, it is just a bunch of nice sounding words. 🙁

    Berean Wife

  2. BW,

    OUCH!

    I am the budgeter in our marriage. While we are never without, sometimes I get very uppity about spending money (sometimes with good reason).

    Lately we have been blessed by my husband’s brother, who received 1/3 of a cow from his girlfriend’s parents. Since my husband has driven out to the other side of the city several times to give his brother’s old jaloppie of a car a boost, the last time he did this his brother offered some of his blessing (my word, not his) to us. It’s been a great blessing to us, as we have been entertaining much more nfrequently since we purchased our home this summer.

    Methinks I need to let go a little more…

    PIP

    Berean Wife Reply:

    PIP,

    Sorry. 🙂

    It is hard to get a good balance between being wise stewards and being poor stewards and wasting money. I think obviously that is a matter we should spend in much prayer in order to do the will of the Father. It also seems that being generous would look different in each family. Not one of us have the same resources, nor the same expenses. However, we are all told to serve others, be hospitable and to give as the Lord has given to us.

    I’m glad your brother-in-law has been able to share with you just as your husband has been able to help him.

    Another thing that we need to remember is hospitality doesn’t require breaking the budget. Although a nice meal is fun at times. Simple meals work well, also. We still remember once a friend’s family coming over and honestly, I didn’t have much food here in the house. We ate crackers and butter and the kids had so much fun they even ask to have that often when they come. We fellowshipped and laughed together over just crackers and butter. 🙂

    Berean Wife

  3. Good stuff to be thinking about. I tend to get all tight fisted and uppity when the neighbor kid comes over and wants to drink our tea and milk and eat our snacks. I have never run out, though, even with the extra mouth. I pray that the Lord would make me more hospitable.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Ma,

    We don’t have that happen here since there aren’t any children close enough to just come over on their own. But I could see how it would be bothersome on a regular basis. I am very tight fisted when it comes to the average child eating. I hate to see food wasted. 🙁 So many times I’ve seen children go through the line and fill up plates only then to throw most of it away. Then I tend to say something even if the parents are around. I’m not talking about being part of the clean your plate club but more like getting two pieces of fried chicken and throwing away 1 1/2 pieces.

    You may have more of a ministry going on with the neighbor than just the food. It could be they just desire to be a part of a close Christian family.

    I’m sure all of us could benefit from being more hospitable. 🙁

    Berean Wife

    Ma Reply:

    BW said :”You may have more of a ministry going on with the neighbor than just the food. It could be they just desire to be a part of a close Christian family.”

    I thought of that, too. He has no siblings at home and the fam is not together. His mom just had boyfriend move in and such.

    We had a neighbor a few years ago that I really blew it with (with my lack of hospitality) and I feel that maybe He’s giving me another chance.:)

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Ma,

    Sounds like a definite need. 🙁 I feel so sorry for children who find themselves in similar situations. I’m sure he feels somewhat replaced by the new boyfriend.

    I would have loved it if an intact Christian family had taken me in just to give me some idea of how a family should be and how husbands and wives should interact. Or even a family that spoke of Christ more than Sunday morning at church.

    Thankfully, the Lord is full of mercy and grace and He will forgive us when we fail even providing more opportunities to be obedient.

    Berean Wife

  4. I make the budget in our house and I admit it makes me jittery about giving sometimes.

    I recently had a small amount of money I was going to use for homeschool stuff and found out that someone else needed it much more than I did. I am embarrassed to admit how much a struggled with letting it go when I knew the Lord had put it on my heart to do so. Once it was given I was actually relieved.

    My husband on the other hand is very generous, and will give the shirt off his back to help someone in need. Thankfully, the Lord has used him in my life to teach me about generosity as well.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    That, Terry, is something I struggle with also. I am hesitant to give money to individuals unless I know them well. Food, clothing, etc. is no issue, but money? See I second guess how the money will be used or if I’ve enabled poor stewardship. Don’t have a problem at all with giving someone money for a specific known need or giving money to the church. But what about that stranger who asks for gas money? How do I know they aren’t spending it on drugs or alcohol? I have often resolved that problem by asking them to meet me at the next gas station and then I would buy them gas. Most won’t take me up on that.

    Obviously, though you knew the person and the Lord impressed upon you the need to give them the money. I think that you will find obeying the Lord will bring you more joy than the homeschool supplies. But you may also find you get the benefit of both. That has happened here often. We can’t out give the Lord.

    Berean Wife

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