Faith Stories: Testimony of God’s Abundance
A Season of Plenty
When Pastor Jay called me earlier in the week and asked me to speak about God’s bounty, I immediately said yes. I’m a people-pleaser, and besides, I thought, this should be easy enough. After all, I’ve experienced God’s bounty in so many ways: in the laughter of my children (the ones I was told I’d never have); in the love of my husband and family; in the satisfaction I get from working again; and in the relative security I feel in my community.
But while I could speak casually about any of those things, none in particular was really inspiring me to say anything….well….. church-talk worthy. None of these things seemed compelling or powerful, or at least, certainly not enough to be meaningful to others.
And so the week went on, and I busied myself with my usual full schedule of meeting with students and teaching classes, shuttling children to school and play dates, burning-I mean, cooking-dinners, and washing dishes and laundry. And all the while, I racked my brain for something to speak about.
Finally, Saturday night came. And as I stood over a stove preparing a most unimpressive meal for the family, silently panicking that I still hadn’t found Divine inspiration in anything that had happened to me lately, Divine inspiration came to me.
Maybe this IS God’s bounty. God’s bounty is ENOUGH.
The Bible refers to God’s bounty quite a bit. The Psalms are full of references to God’s greatness, God’s overflowing riches, as His bounty. Likewise, the ancient books of Genesis and Deuteronomy refer to God’s bounty in tangible terms of great abundance; indeed, the Deuteronomist speaks of God’s bounty as the storehouse of the Heavens, of overflowing stores of grain, and carts of abundance.
But in Jeremiah, we see a different picture of God’s bounty. This bounty is God’s goodness. In chapter 13, verse 13, God promises to turn our sorrow into joy, to replace our mourning with dancing. And in the next verse — the verse that really moves me — God promises to satisfy us with his bounty. Yes, satisfy us with His bounty, His goodness.
So for me, this satisfaction, this busy contentedness, this is the experience of God’s bounty in my life. It’s the busyness of a full life, of a soul made content by the small things (and small people). God’s bounty is present in my life in the everyday experience of dressing and bathing my children, in my grocery shopping and cooking, in working with a student to navigate the demands of public education…..
So perhaps I have no compelling testimony of God’s bounty; in my life, God’s bounty is simple. It is contentment. And it is enough.