Every day as I go to work, I pray that God will sustain me throughout the day. That He will see the steps that I have taken and the planning that I have done, and He will be faithful to fill in the gaps. That He will step in to provide and preserve when I come to the end of my abilities (which is so very often because my abilities are tiny compared to His). This heavenly gap filling is apparent in every aspect of my life, from guiding trail rides to feeding horses to buying groceries for myself.
I like to call this early morning prayer “my prayer of loaves and fishes,” because I’m asking the Lord to multiply what small offerings I have that day. This prayer reminds me that while the Lord can most certainly provide us with an abundance, sometimes all we need at the moment is just enough manna for today. Just enough hay to last us the seven days until the next feeding without any waste. Just enough to live without getting caught up in desiring more. Just enough for today so that I don’t get ahead of myself but rather learn to rely on God.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.”Psalm 23:1-3a
We serve a God of abundance, yet we so often find ourselves trapped in a scarcity mentality. We doubt that He’ll take care of us, and so we go begging for scraps from the world. It’s easy to get caught up in the earthly definition of plenty, of overflowing bank accounts, fancy houses, and designer clothes. But the heavenly definition of abundance doesn’t always mean overflowing. When you’re starving, abundance can look like a sandwich. God always provides for us; it just might not be in the ways that we want or imagine. Instead of a feast, it might be manna from heaven. It could be ravens bringing us a crumb or scrap at a time instead of storehouses full to bursting.
Living a life of abundance has meant learning to rely on the Lord. Because His presence and His words are the only things that I need overflowing in my life. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to live outside my means because I expect God to shower me with blessings. He’s not a vending machine. An abundant life as a Christian doesn’t mean that we have lots of things; it means that we have lots of Jesus. He is the living water that will never run dry or leave us thirsty. Jesus is good and perfect and the only source of life that we should be chasing after.
God loves us and will care and provide for us because He’s a good Father. That’s what good fathers do; they look out for their children. The Lord provides for us in ways that let us know He’s there, that He’s thinking about us each day. But He also uses ways that remind our prideful hearts that we need to rely upon Him in every area of our lives. Ravens and storehouses. Both come from God, and both point back to His faithful provision.
You’re a beloved child of God. Stop begging for scraps from other people’s tables and take a seat at the feast the Lord has prepared for you. The things of this world might fill you for a moment, but they’ll never truly satisfy you. Only God’s abundant care and love for us can do that.