“Who gathered a lot had nothing left over; who gathered little had enough.” Exodus 16:18 NLT
“Having enough is more about what God provides than about how much you gather.”
My thoughts today are about “having enough.”
Many people are nearly incurable worriers, and much of that worry is about having enough – enough money, enough strength, enough ability, enough time, just having enough. Enough is a tough thing to measure. When asked, “How much is enough?” many people would answer, “Just a little more!” But the irony of their answer is this: how much more does it take for you to finally feel secure that you have enough? Read 1 Timothy 6:4-12 NKJV. What God gives will be enough.
Until you know what enough for you is, you cannot possibly know how much you need for that to be true. More of the same is not an adequate description of the sufficiency God intends for you. The idea of sufficiency contrasts with the political and economic uncertainty nationally and globally. The stock market is volatile; a group du jour is protesting somewhere; unemployment remains stubbornly high; international alliances shift unpredictably; and fear for the future is pervasive. Why? Because too many people have had enough of not having enough.
There is quite an interesting description of Israel when Moses led them from the slavery of Egypt to the promised abundance of Canaan. The Bible says of that time, “Everyone had just enough.” Exodus 16:18 NLT. Everyone had enough. What would such a time and place be like? Is that idealistic, even unrealistic?
Listen to Moses’ description of that season of Israel’s history. “Israel went out and gathered this food (manna) – some getting more, and some getting less . . those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed . . the people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need.” Exodus 16:17-22 NLT.
Here’s what I learn from this passage about God providing and your gathering: having enough is a divine partnership; you must work and gather, but ultimately you are dependent on God’s provident hand to supply. Enough is not so much about what you gather; though you must. Having enough is more about what God will provide; know that He will! There is no entitlement for those who can, but will not give the effort. The New Testament is pretty clear, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV.
Another thing I observe is: God provides enough for you to gather, but you do so “morning by morning.” Remember; Jesus taught you to pray, “Give us day by day our daily bread.” Luke 13:3 NKJV. That is not meant to provide an ample reserve for all the days that follow, or you could stop trusting God and depend on what you have instead of what God will provide. “And with all His abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, My God will supply all your needs.” Philippians 4:16 TEV.
As a young teen, I was intrigued by books on my grandfather’s bookshelf titled, “Handfuls of Purpose.” I later learned their title came from a phrase in Ruth’s story, which describes the heart and hand of our Father. Boaz, the kinsman redeemer of Ruth and her future, instructed his reapers to leave “handfuls of purpose” to generously provide for Ruth and Naomi. See Ruth 2:15-20 KJV.
My prayer for you today is that you experience God’s handfuls of purpose everyday in every area of life.