Chapter 3 – Enough To Go Around
I wondered what could happen if the rich of the world would share with the poor the way this darling (poor) family had shared with me: without holding back, giving their all and believing that the Lord would provide more as needed…I was learning from these people who seemed to have nothing and yet had everything they needed in their hearts full of trust and grace.
“The poor make me rich” ~Ann Voskamp
As a family, we do not see ourselves as rich in our culture. We live paycheck to-hopefully-the next paycheck. We are able to pay the bills, buy groceries, buy gas once every two weeks, and maybe do a couple of small family things. Extras are luxuries, but they aren’t unheard of. Statistically, worldwide, though, we are within the richest percentile. Our minister points out that mostly it’s not that we do without the “things” as much as we may give up the variety, and I must admit, sometimes I consider the variety – the choices – a need. What if I had all choices taken away, though? What if I even had some basic needs taken away? How would my world view change?
In the world of the “have’s” I find it becomes all about having more rather than having in order to give. When I have been among the poor, what has most humbled, encouraged, and enriched my life has been their generosity from the little they have. Yet, when someone is in need I quickly look around for what I can spare instead of searching out what I can give up to meet the need. My spiritual poverty runs so much deeper than their physical poverty.
I long to long for spiritual riches! I want to want only Him – all of Him! I want to live like He is enough and be a vessel to provide “enough” for someone else. “Father, give me the desires of my heart! Make me, mold me into Your likeness. I pray you can entrust me with more to give more. I pray the only treasures that I seek are the ones I can store up in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy!”
Helping the poor is not something God asks His people to do…He instructs us to do (it)…God wanted me to help the people around me who needed help. (In the margin, I – Anastasia – wrote: Show me the needs. Enable us to help!) (Acts: 2:44-45; 4:32-35)
Not a lot to add to this…except to say that Nathan and I have asked God to open our eyes to what He is asking us as family to do. We want to instill this beautiful truth into our family life and hopefully send a legacy on with our children. We want to tangibly help as well as pray and send resources. We are hoping that God brings us to a need or a need to our attention.
Peter is the rock on which God built His church. But first, Peter was probably the worst disciple ever. I am Peter…”No! I love you, I could never deny you, Lord.”…I love the Lord…but how often do I forget to give the glory to His name? How often do I take compliments without giving Him the credit? Do I, like Peter, deny Jesus the glory that is His?
As a child I sought praise in order to feel worthy. As an adult I secretly, and sometimes not-so-secretly, do the same. It’s this human need to know that I have been noticed, recognized, glorified(?).
As a Christ follower I have this desire to find a way to be “hidden” in Him; to humble myself in His presence. I want my life to reflect Christ; I want to do things for an audience of One.
I don’t know if I will ever be rid of this struggle while living here on Earth, but I do know that if I fail, and I will, I have a plan. I will turn my eyes to Jesus. I will seek first His Kingdom and righteousness. I will seek the “one thing needed”, and I know it will not be denied me.
…Peter raised his sword and cut off a soldier’s ear…I am Peter. I have my own time frame. When I don’t see anything happening, I try to make them happen. And Jesus says, “Put away your sword, put away your plans. Shall we not do what the Father has asked of us?” So like Peter, I put away my plans, my defenses, and watch as everything happens perfectly, in God’s own timing.
Plans. Time. Money. The present. The future. I want to know! I want to do what I can to quickly get us “there” – wherever “there” is.
Plans. Time. Money. The present. The future. He wants to do what He can to get us with Him -doing whatever, for however long that will take.
After Jesus had risen…Peter…jumped out of the boat…I am Peter – excitedly jumping into things and then standing, sopping wet, at the feet of the Lord, smiling at my stupidity. I get excited, forget to think things through, and end up doing them the long way. Every time…Jesus welcomes my soaking wet self into His arms and is simply happy to see me.
How many times has it happened. A really good, seemingly Godly idea comes along. We jump in without praying for His will to be done, but for Him to bless our own. Who knows, God may have had those plans in mind for us, but maybe just in a different way or at a different time. My plans don’t get in the way or stop God’s plans, but they can hinder my involvement in them or cause me unneeded stress and worry – which by default cause me to sin against God. (Worry is sin!) I could be in the center of His will all the time rather than trying to push the perimeters when I want to do things my way and in my time.
I come sloshing back to Him, hanging my head, afraid to look into disappointed eyes, but when I finally look up, all I see is Him loving me.
I am Peter who made many mistakes, but I am Peter for whom God had great plans…For each time I deny God the glory that is His, for each time I follow my will instead of listening to His, for each time I jump ahead without first consulting my Lord, He asks, “Daughter, do you truly love me?” and I do…I am Peter. I mess up. I make mistakes. I am far from perfect, and God will use me. God will establish great things through me. You are Peter…Go. Feed His sheep.
I am Anastasia, and man do I make so many mistakes! I gag on that foot in my mouth more than I can stomach! I allow “worthless things” to pass in front of my eyes and for days I pray He take the pictures away. I push and prod until I find I am no longer seeking to pray but to just know. I snap and throw books and pencils when a child shows no interest in his education, and then I sit and repent before him. I groan in frustration over spilled popcorn. I stiffen and get hateful when my husband says something in “that” way, and then I wait too long to ask him to forgive me!
I am Anastasia who God had and has great plans for, and I truly love Him! God will use me – Oh, please Father, for no other purpose but Your glory! God will establish some great things though me – really, me? Really me! (They will rarely look the way I imagined; they will always be so much more!)
I am Anastasia, and I am learning how to feed sheep now instead of being the gluttonous sheep myself.