"This isn't flying. It's falling with style."
- Buzz Lightyear
"Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup."
- Psalm 16:5
Last week's post about stewardship stirred some lively discussion. At some level, we all struggle here. It seems a heightening awareness of the needs that surround us bring us into conflict with our own limitations. What we do with that tension is the subject of our conversation.
Eric writes: "Dan, when a man feels he has reached end of himself (figuratively), how does one go about finding an 'extension'."
Eric – Great question. My thoughts: If we could extend ourselves through a formula or technique or new approach or resolve or by any means, then we wouldn’t really be at the end of ourselves, right? I think that’s the point. We find our completeness in Jesus and He wants us to walk in that.
Our resources, our influence, our “platform” so to speak, has limits. Everybody’s does. It’s the edges that help us to realize in a practical way that which we profess to know – that God is our provision in every sense.
Consider Peter. Before he was Peter the Apostle, he was Peter the fisherman. Before he had books in the Bible, he had a boat. One day, Jesus asked Peter to borrow his boat. Peter offered up what he had. Jesus asked, so he gave. The rest is history.
This is the role we play, to offer up what we have. We all have position, influence, relationships, money and opportunities. We have time and words and little things that mean a lot to others that we can offer in His name. We each have a boat we can lend.
The “gap” is not between what we have and what we need. The gap is between what we have and what we give.
From the land of desperation, M writes: "I am doing what I can, and butting right up against the end of myself. And praying that God will meet me."
I discover that seasons such as these are opportunities to enjoy God in the moment, to soak in the gratitude of the now. Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow…” Easier said than done.
Worry, anxiety and fear occupy that space just beyond our immediate experience. In this moment God provides. “But what about what’s next? Will He meet me there, too? I’m doing the math here and I’m coming up short. Is He seeing this?”
Whether we're talking money, marriage, ministry or something else, there will be seasons where we compare today's stack with tomorrow's needs and it won't be enough.
There will be moments or seasons (and some of them prolonged) where we feel isolated and abandoned, where we doubt God’s willingness to reach into our mess. Most of us would agree that He is able, but in a very practical way, we wonder if He is truly interested in our struggle. We doubt His love for us against the “evidence” of our circumstances.
Jesus spoke to the center of our insecurity with the questions, “are you not worth much more than they… will He not much more clothe you?” Translation: Nothing you’re struggling with has escaped God view. He has your tomorrow. Now, enjoy your today.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the end of myself. It’s so much easier for me to see Jesus when I’m not blocking my own view. Pity the man who has not found his end. The temptation to self-sufficiency can choke a person’s intimacy with the Lord.
Bringing us home, Jim writes: I know God is working and does nothing half way.
[B]ut the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Sphere.is coming soon !!