Thursday, May 17, 2012

Being Thankful for Enough

Yesterday's letter of note on the Letters of Note blog (if you haven't added Letters of Note to your RSS feed, you seriously should) was a letter from President Ronald Reagan sent to his son Michael a few days before his marriage.

In it, Reagan exhorts his son:

"There is an old law of physics that you can only get out of a thing as much as you put in it. The man who puts into the marriage only half of what he owns will get that out. Sure, there will be moments when you will see someone or think back to an earlier time and you will be challenged to see if you can still make the grade, but let me tell you how really great is the challenge of proving your masculinity and charm with one woman for the rest of your life."

As much as you put in, that's what you get out.

Science was not my forte in school. Although I did well enough to get the grade, as soon as I left the class, all those wonderful principles dribbled out of my brain pan. So finding a life lesson in physics... I guess maybe it did come in handy after all.

I've been incredibly blessed throughout the years as I've moved from one location to one job to another. I have never had to fight or scrounge for a job. The next opportunity simply presented itself and I took it, assuming God would bless it and occasionally waiting to follow His leading in it.

So naturally, I assumed in moving home to Lubbock, within a matter of days a job would present itself. And not only would it be a job, it would "the right" job. A job where I could provide for myself and Hannah and a job in which I could be used to add to "kingdom come" on earth. Simple.

But this has not been the way of things.

I've had lots of interviews and quite a few people say "if we had an opening, we would definitely want to hire you" and a few amazing jobs who couldn't afford me and I couldn't afford to take, but no job offer. Not even one to turn down.

This is a difficult pill for me to swallow.

Why then did I leave South Africa? A job I loved? My daughter?

And I glamorize what life was there and decry what life is here, and cry and bemoan and generally throw myself a little pity-party-kind-of tantrum.

Unfortunately pity parties do not make you feel better. As far as putting into it what you get out, you get out of a pity party exactly what you put into it--more pity, more doldrums, more exhaustion.

On Monday, I asked a few friends and family members to join me in fasting and prayer over the job search. I didn't expect to get a job because I skipped a few meals, but I wanted to put the whole thing back in God's hands and ask for the patience, the faith and the wisdom to wait for His leading.

I found it rather rude when on the same day the job I'd been waiting to hear from called to say they'd filled the position. I put down the phone and cried and told God I just didn't get it and that Hannah was waiting and really...really...

It wasn't until evening when I was reading through 1 Kings that I found my way back into the peace that passes all understanding.

It was the story of Elijah and the widow (1 Kings 17:7-24). The widow with her little bit of oil and her little bit of flour.

In the middle of an enduring drought, this widow is at the end of her rope with one last meal for her and her son. They'll eat it and give in and waste away into starvation and eventually death.

So when Elijah tells her to feed him first, using up the last of her resources and leaving her and her son without a last meal, he's asking for a pretty huge favor.

But then there's the miracle, and the jar of oil never runs dry and the handful of flour never gets depleted.

What struck me as I read through is that God could have filled the jar to overflowing. He could have filled up the flour bin to the brim. But what he did instead was to give enough to keep the widow, her son and Elijah alive each day. Enough to keep them from starving, but not enough for abundance or extravagance. And truthfully, a few small loaves of bread each day was not enough to keep them from becoming malnourished, but it was enough to keep them alive.

Right now I have more than enough. I have a family who is standing by me every step of the way and helping to meet my physical needs as well as my emotional and spiritual ones. I have a whole host of people praying for me and even willing to fast with me. I have plenty of job opportunities to apply for and one chance continues to crop up after another. I have enough. I have more than enough if I'm willing to see it.

I do think Reagan's law of physics metaphor is right. What you put in is what you get out.

So I'm going to continue to put in. Continue to strive and pray and hope because I know there's a job and I know there's a little girl waiting even if she doesn't know exactly what she is waiting for.

But I'm thankful for enough. I'm thankful for the ways God provides enough everyday. Everyday enough, even when sometimes we don't think it is enough and we're feeling a little malnourished. I have no doubt there were days in the years of the drought that the widow raged and asked God why there wasn't more than enough. Just on this day, why isn't there more than enough? But God continues to provide enough.

I trust, hope and pray this time too God will provide enough, and am thankful for the enough he is already providing. And I'm asking ahead of time for forgiveness for the days I rage and the peace of God to calm my raging.

Father, you know and I know, you are always for my good.

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