There is always more than enough. Most of the time, however, I don’t think that way.
- Did I make enough food for that family gathering?
- Will I have enough money to pay that bill?
- Will I have enough time to finish the important things on my to do list?
- Will I have the right words for my friend or my family member?
- Will I have enough wisdom to navigate difficult situations?
- Will I have done enough by the time my kids become adults?
We can be consumed by a mindset of not enough. We can be crippled by a scarcity mentality. Even though God’s promises drip with abundance, our culture pulls us towards lack and worry. We allow the narrative of not enough to draw us away from the story of abundance that God is writing in our lives. Let me give you an example from my life.
The Stress of Scarcity
After my husband Eric and I took the step of faith of signing a five year commercial lease for our business, I spent years three to five worrying about the renewal of that lease. As the end of the lease approached, we still could not decide what was best for our business.
Around mid-March of 2020, the pandemic began. We equipped our employees to work from home and we closed the physical office. During that time, we decided to allow the lease to end and share space with a colleague about thirty minutes from our home. Not the best option for quality of life but it was a reasonable option.
One day in March, Eric and I were walking the dog outside—like the rest of the homebound people in sunny South Florida. The broker for our landlord called. I was not the least bit excited because all of our previous negotiations went nowhere. I passed the phone to Eric. We learned that the landlord, now in pandemic mode, did not want to lose a tenant, and made us an offer we could not refuse. We agreed to the best terms imaginable.
Headline: Global pandemic solves Sasha’s commercial lease issues. Really God? That’s funny. Your abundant ways far exceed my small minded, scarce ways.
From a mindset of scarcity, difficult circumstances are solved in human ways with human thoughts and resources. From a mindset of abundance, we have all that we need even if we don’t know the outcome yet. To that point, we don’t have a grasp on how God is going to work out all of the things that we worry about. With scarcity, we believe what we can see. With abundance, we have faith that God will make not just a way, but a good way ahead for us.
I worried and lost sleep over a detail in my life that God worked out through a global pandemic. In all my worry, I could not have imagined that our lease would be expiring at the same time commercial space became somewhat obsolete. Let me be clear, this was not my worst or only worry of 2020. It’s just great news for those of us who have a tendency to operate from a mindset of scarcity.
“Scarcity thrives in a culture where everyone is hyperaware of lack. Everything from safety and love to money and resources feels restricted or lacking. We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want, and don’t have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants.”
In contrast, God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Here is one more story of scarcity and abundance.
Abundance: The Unexpected Outcome
In March of 2021, we learned that my son needed surgery to put his shoulder back together. The back story is that we had spent the greater part of the prior three years planning his college experience based on his athletic gifting. He was at the top of his game nationally in 2019. We had big hopes and confirmation from his coach that track in college was on the table.
There was no track season in 2020 but we drove out to a remote park in Palm Beach County so he could practice with his coach. In 2021, track season came around again and so did the shoulder surgery. The outcome was excellent, but not perfect. College sports were no longer on the table. The tension between scarcity and abundance was hard for me. The eye of the needle narrowed for my son. God pushed out an opportunity that appeared lifegiving and viable. I spent most of his senior year in a pliable space moving with the shift in his future. But I also spent a lot of time hearing about my friend’s kids moving into the space of college athletics. Scarcity squeezed my chest.
When good dreams die, there is space between the orb being emptied and the orb filling again. That is the space between scarcity and abundance in God’s kingdom.
Will you allow the emptying to lead you to abundance? Can you?
My son will have an exciting freshman year studying abroad and then he’ll come back to a great campus in our home state of Florida. The orb filled. Trust God to walk you through the squeeze of scarcity. God has plans. It’s okay that we don’t know the details or understand the steps God takes in our lives and our loved one’s lives. Can we tighten our grip on Jesus and loosen our grip on the way we think our lives should work out? Can we decide in our hearts to be grateful even when it’s hard to breathe?
Yes, in the times of emptying, there is obvious scarcity. I felt the squeeze. My chest hurt. The shift hurt. The removal hurt. I wanted a Red Sea moment in the way that I envisioned a Red Sea moment. But. Abundance is not a story of human ways or human thoughts working out difficult circumstances. Abundance is a story of faith where God is gracious in His gifts towards us.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.James 1:17
Girls, God really does care about the details of our lives.
He has already—past, present and future—done enough. Even so, He still does more. Me and my boy did get a Red Sea moment. Right before the end of his senior year, God allowed his shoulder to throw shot put (his second best field event). He placed fourth place at districts and even had the honor to throw at regionals. He did that with a light heart and with no practice at all. His shoulder hung in there and we both rejoiced at the closure God allowed.
If we are willing to let time plus God’s kindness do its work, abundance will show itself. Abundance doesn’t rise in its full form immediately. We will have to trust Him in the emptying. Abundance peeks out of the empty orb in glimpses of glory and beams of light. Abundance works itself out in unimaginable ways beyond the expectations we have for ourselves and loved ones. We don’t have to worry about not enough or good enough. God works out His plan of abundance as He fills the orb of our lives.