As the idea to write about God’s abundant provision in my life came to me I couldn’t help but think my words might be hollow considering my circumstances. I live in the richest county in the nation in the richest nation of the world and while I have lacked at times, certainly I’ve never lacked the most basic of provisions. Food, shelter and clothing I’ve always had. Yet, I’m anxious at times. I worry about retirement, providing for my children and grandchildren, paying for weddings, medical expenses, and car repairs. And while I know it’s not inherently sinful to want nice things I often err on the side of covetousness. In Luke 12 Jesus speaks to his disciples about hypocrisy, fear, provision and eternity.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his life span? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
Indeed why do I worry?
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
To think of all the angst I had about what to wear to my sons’ weddings earlier this year and I’m embarrassed.
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
In the world 805 million people are undernourished. The same source reports that one out of six children in developing countries, about 100 million, are underweight. All the nations of the world seek food, clothing and shelter but not all have what they need even in our own country children go hungry according to this source 15.8 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2012. I believe God cares about everyone in the world and thank God there are organizations who seek to feed, clothe and shelter those without these basic needs. As I type and read Jesus’ exhortation to his disciples I am convicted that I haven’t done more to feed the hungry of the world.
Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where not thief approaches and no moth destroys, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Jesus himself calls us to provide for the needy and to keep an eye on eternity. Yet most of us(I) sit in our(my) big comfortable homes and worry about retirement. Earlier in this passage Jesus told the parable of the Rich Fool who used his money to build more storehouses for all his earthly possessions. He was a fool because his fate was the same as all of ours; death.
Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.
I’ve recently read a couple of blogs that encourage us to not just feed the poor but to dine with the poor. The first is from a fellow 31 dayer named Ingrid she speaks of a local cafe that feeds the needy in her county.
The other is from Rachel Held Evans’ Blog and her letter To The Church in North America.
I pray this new found conviction will find legs and take action. I’ve shared we are in the process of getting out of debt and saving for retirement I will however, be looking for ways to give to practically meet the needs of those without. Whether in a developing country or in my own county the poor will always be with us so i shouldn’t have to look too far.