Many people don’t have enough. Some have just enough and others have more than enough. The concept of how much is enough is hard to grasp.
It seems Americans, even those who are poor, have more than many people in the rest of the world. What is enough?
More than enough, especially if it is food can be harmful to the body. Parents prepare food for their family out of love, to provide for physical needs. Having a good meal comforts us like nothing else. We feel no lack. There is enough. Life is good. We don’t have to worry about food.
Even Jesus said, something similar only with a different twist. “Do not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”1
Growing up my mother was the one in charge of the meal and when she wasn’t able, which was quite a bit of the time, I fixed the meal. She cooked no extras. Rarely were there any leftovers. It was just enough to feed us, but it was enough.
When I would cook, I would notice the number of canned goods available in the cabinet. There was only just enough for what we needed for the week. The small freezer in the refrigerator could only hold enough meat for one week’s worth of meals.
When my mother was in the hospital, which she was frequently when I was growing up, I would go with my dad and do grocery shopping only buying just what we needed for the week.
We had enough, but to me it felt like not enough.
Somehow I carried this feeling of not enough into adulthood and perverted it into “I will have more than enough.” For many years I could not stand to have a pantry less than full to overflowing.
Hanging on to the fear of not enough, in essence means I don’t believe what Jesus said. “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of Godabove all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”2
In essence, my mother had an anxiety of not having enough money so she never stockpiled food. There was a root of lack.
She unknowingly passed that on to me.
My source of not enough was my mother, but was it really? What was her source? To uncover any root, we must ask God. When I did He helped me recall more things.
My mother was born in 1932. The Great Depression started in 1930 and lasted through the mid-1940’s.
I was about 17 when my mother told me how my grandfather was fortunate to work for a wealthy man who bred horses. If it wasn’t for his life insurance policies, which he cashed in, and his employer they would have been out on the street
It struck me that God had profoundly provide for my grandparents, mother and uncle during this time. This sense of gratitude welled up inside me as a teen so I never correlated it with a sense of not enough.
More than enough
Not enough is insidious because it evokes in us overcompensation. We think we must have more than enough to compensate for the fear of not enough.
Having gone through the Depression, my grandmother always provided more than enough food and, of course, that can be detrimental to us physically.
God provides for our needs. He tells us clearly not to be anxious. Not to worry. We are to rest in Him.
Our posture in Him is to be that of a child who has been weaned off of it’s mother’s milk and on to real food, but still rest in the comfort of her presence.
“Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.”3
The psalmist ends that passage with admonishing the people to put their hope and trust in the Lord.
Although food is a way we are physically comforted, we can be comforted even if we have no food. As believers we are never lacking the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
It doesn’t always come in the form of a full to overflowing belly. As a matter of fact these days I am more than satisfied with just enough. It reminds me of the days when I indulged freely in way too much.
God gives us more than enough of Himself. He gives us more than enough love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.4
And yet we pray for more of the things we really don’t need. We want physical comforts. We want the things that we can touch, taste and see.
God, though, in His mercy gives us only what we need of these things. Of the others, there is an unlimited supply.
To me this is abundance, having more than enough of what connects you to God, just enough to live and breathe and nothing of the things that pull us away from God.
He takes from His abundance and gives to us. We never deplete the supply because even though we take from it, abundance still remains. It is unending.
God in His grace always gives us more than enough and that, my friends, is enough.
1 Matthew 6:25-26 NLT
2 Matthew 6:32-33 NLT
3 Psalm 131 NLT
4 Galatians 5:22 NLT
Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching & Accountability Group is Teresa Shields Parker’s new group on living healthy through a total renovation of body, soul and spirit. Teresa chronicles her journey in the memoir, Sweet Grace, and the practical application workbook, Sweet Grace Study Guide. Get a free chapter of her memoir at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.