November, and Thanksgiving! Time to meditate on our blessings and abundance, to be grateful for the gifts we’ve received. Growing up, my gran would always set a cornucopia, the horn of plenty, in the center of the Thanksgiving table.
Some years, His blessings are obvious. But other times, it feels like we don’t have enough: not enough wealth, not enough health, not enough strength or ability to face challenges. In this season of harvest, gratitude, and sharing, consider these truths from Jesus’s time on earth:
If we hold on too tightly, we end up with less.
Remember the parable of the talents. When He trusts us with a gift, a “talent”, He doesn’t micromanage us. Instead, he withdraws a little to allow us space to use it, and to grow it. But He is always faithful to return and check in on us. He makes adjustments. Oh, how I want to be like the servant who has increased His blessings, not one who has secreted them into a hole in the ground!
Enjoying plentiful abundance requires trust on our part.
When the rich young ruler approached Jesus to inquire about the next step in his spiritual development, he was unprepared for the answer: get rid of everything and follow. Some see this as an admonition against wealth, but it’s the only time the Lord advised a disciple to unload a great fortune. It’s not, however, the only time He called someone to give up what was standing between them and a closer, more genuine faith.
The amazing thing is, we know what stands in our way. A moment or two of quiet reflection is all it takes to reveal our obstacle. And like the rich young ruler, we have a choice—cling to what is comfortable, or exchange temporary plenty for true, eternal abundance. I want to have enough trust to follow Him. It’s hard to shake the image of the young man sadly returning to his comfortable normal …
God’s grace is an infinite multiplier.
The parable of the loaves and fishes reminds us that the size of our offering doesn’t matter; it’s our willingness to give back to Him that counts. Imagine if the little boy was too afraid or greedy to share his lunch. After all, his mother sent him out of the house that morning with her thoughtful provisions. Don’t you think other mothers did the same? Probably there was more than one youngster in the crowd that day who had a little snack. Lord, let me be like the sweetheart of a boy who was generous and bold enough to approach Andrew and offer his small meal! No wonder He tells us to be like little children… It’s not for us to worry about the ‘how’, only to willingly share what we hold in our hands.
These stories warn us what happens when we cling to our gifts, choosing fear instead of trust. The lessons are not to scold or condemn us, but to call us into a freedom of love and plenty. What can we give back to Him? We may feel powerless, but we have the ability to rely on a limitless, powerful grace. He calls us to a plenty that we wouldn’t dare hope for ourselves.
Now you: Was there a time when you found plenty by trusting Him with your small offering?