18 I now have plenty and it is more than enough. I am full to overflowing because I received the gifts that you sent from Epaphroditus. Those gifts give off a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice that pleases God. 19 My God will meet your every need out of his riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus. 20 Let glory be given to God our Father forever and always. Amen.
I consider myself a pretty decent cook. But one of the things I’ve not figured out is…rice. I know. Ridiculous. It’s not cooking it that’s a problem (I’ve got an Instant Pot for that). It’s figuring out how much to cook that’s difficult. It never fails: I always make too much. What appears to be just a little bit of dry rice turns out to be a LOT of cooked rice. I end up with more than enough. Always more than enough.
I have had this experience in the church many times: whether with food, with volunteers, or with money. I have often gone into an event thinking, “this doesn’t seem to be very much.” And yet, somehow the food, the people, and the resources always seem to be more than enough.
While in prison, Paul experienced hardships and deprivation. His situation required him to provide for his own meals and other necessities. Having no ability to work, he would have starved without ongoing support from the churches.
And though I’m sure he sometimes wondered where dinner might be coming from, along the way he learned a key lesson about God’s abundance. Over and over, people came through for him. They showed up with money. They showed up with food.
It’s easy for us to look at a situation and say, “It’s not much.” But when we’re talking about the riches of God’s grace, what seems like not much turns out to be plenty. In Christ, there is always more than enough.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
When have you felt anxiety about having “enough”? Are you experiencing that anxiety now? How have you seen God provide for you in the past? What lessons do those experiences teach you in the present?
Prayer: God of abundance, when we feel anxiety or are tempted to grumble about the things we lack, remind us of all the riches of your grace. Pour into our lives the blessings we need today. Let experience not only having enough, but more than enough, so that our blessedness might flow into the lives of others. Amen.