I was dragging my finger lazily over the bindings of books on our bookshelf in anticipation of a luxurious gift of nothing on my to do list. What book would I curl up with?! And I stopped as my finger rested on a memory, “George Müller”.
Sweet memories of a young family, jammie-clad in various positions of snuggling, as we listened to my husband read a chapter each night from this inspiring biography. We had just begun the journey of going to the field and his compelling life was prompting a compelling response in our own lives. Who can forget the orphanage story!
The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat,” the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.”
Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.– from Christianity.com
I remember my husband whispering to me that night, “What if we don’t ask anyone but God to provide for us?” We had departure dates and fundraising deadlines, we needed one time gifts, all looming over us and man, did that sound nice. Scrap all the trips and speaking engagements and stressful, humbling meetings where we asked friends and family for support.
But then there was this thought in my head: “A compelling life leads to a compelling response.” The fact that a fireman would retire early and take his wife and four kids to S. Sudan made people do more than scratch their heads. When we shared our story, it caused them to imagine what it would be like to do crazy things for God. And in imagining, they opened up the possibility of first steps. And maybe the lives God was wanting to change weren’t only halfway around the world.
When I think of abundance I usually think of good things. Abundance of joy. Abundance of security in my bank account. Abundance of chocolate chips in my freezer. Abundance from the Lord.
2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
But friends, sometimes the abundance in my life is in things that don’t make me feel warm and fuzzy. What happens when my season feels like I am living with generous portions of loss and fear? Is God still in that?
As I sat in that thought a friend texted me this passage and I remembered that I don’t sit there alone. I have some good company in my unwanted abundance.
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]”
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.– Matthew 14:24-29 (NLT)
“Is it 3AM yet? Because I’m ready for Jesus to show up.” Literally that was my response to her.
Sometimes our abundance is fear that gets us out of the boat and walking on water. Sometimes abundance is the unexpected check that allows us to say we are fully funded to go! Sometimes abundance is a moment when we look around our living room at family, and friends that have become family, and we are overwhelmed at His goodness.
His promise of abundance is a never-ending supply of Him.
May you be saturated with his abundance. May it compel you to give. May it compel you to live.
Where do you see God in your abundance this season? Share your stories. Someone else needs to hear them.