The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
Sometimes when I sit in silence, listening to our Lord, I hear something clearly. Sometimes not. Last week, I heard a clear message in sentence form, and it was this:
“You have all you need, all the time. You just don’t always see it, because you have so much more than you need.”
By the “more than you need”, I understood it to mean the stuff that serves as blockage to my view of my real needs which are bountifully supplied. “More than you need” is the surplus that can be a veil to cover the gold which I already possess.
This “stuff” goes even beyond mere physical items. Not only I do have more food than I need, more clothes, more cars, etc.–all serving as cloud covers for gratitude–there’s also the many friends in various places, for which I am crazy grateful, but can easily take for granted in the midst of God’s plentiful goodness. How many deep people I know to whom I can go to for very wise counsel! Thank you, Lord, may I always be mindful of them and Your goodness..!
Whatever we have an abundance of, we tend to take for granted. Like Oxygen.
As odd as it may sound, I also have more health than I need. Most of us do, I suppose. Therefore it is something that is easy to not think about or be thankful for. Countless studies have shown that those who have less are more thankful than those who have much. We can only keep track of, and be mindful of, so many things or people, I guess. The less you have, the easier it is to remember what to be thankful for.
The Lenten season is such an appropriate time to purge and peel away those things which block our view of God’s gracious provision, the stuff we have in such surplus, that it spreads us thin to the point of not noticing, then forgetting, those things which we already have that we most truly need.
To cope with plenty as we live in the land of plenty means to refrain from excess. We keep only what we truly need, use and can manage well…When people have more than they need, they’re weighed down, distracted and distressed.
~Jan Johnson Abundant Simplicity [pages 75 & 77]
Just to be clear, I’m not advocating you purge some of your friends or health.