Recently a friend told me that he has tithed for years and God has blessed him with an abundance of “stuff.” Another friend told me that she was blessed to be a wife and mother and was trying to figure out why she “deserved” such goodness in her life. It got me thinking.
I am 41 years old (don’t tell anyone). I tithe, do full-time ministry, and practice many Spiritual disciplines. I have no house, no husband, no children, no car (at the moment). I have nothing that makes others feel God’s love for them. Hmmm…..
So I got to thinking even more. I guess the biggest surprise for me is that I am content. I’m not hurt or angry because I don’t have any of these things. A friend reminded me that I have the greatest dog ever and I do own an iPhone. I just don’t have what everyone in our culture seems to perceive as markers of maturity. I don’t have any “stuff.”
In Luke 11:11-13, Jesus tells a story about a child asking his father for fish. Will the father give him a snake? If he needs an egg, will his father give him a scorpion? No. So if a father knows how to give good things to his children, how much more will God the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. But what if I ask for a fish? Will God give me the Holy Spirit? Yes.
When God gives Himself, everything else is included. When I need wisdom, He shows up to BE my wisdom, not just give it to me. When I need peace, He IS my peace. He IS my hope, my joy, my patience, my love, my kindness, my self-control. I don’t have fish or eggs, but I do have the Holy Spirit and He is enough for me.
I think the loss of my Mini has taught me that in a bigger way. My car was the only thing I owned. Now I’m in between vehicles and so my asset list is reduced to a dog and an iPhone. I want a car, and a house, and a husband, and children. But if I never have any of that, I have Jesus forever and ever and ever. I can seriously live with that. I am content. I guess I needed to get to a place where I have nothing to realize that nothing is a lot.