Faith Stories: Testimony of God’s Abundance
A Season of Plenty
K It’s hard to see abundance when you’re right in the middle of things.
Z Well, it’s hard to see certain types of abundance, anyway.
K An abundance of stress, of student loans, of health problems, of papers to grade, of self doubt and depression and fears about the future—those are all very easy to see. My mind is drawn to them; I never forget they’re there.
Z The good things, however, seem to hide in the background like familiar scenery we just don’t notice anymore. Why do I forget these things? Why do my prayers center on my fears and not my thankfulness?
K We associate, for better or for worse, abundance with surplus and security and money. An abundant life, we’ve been told, is one where we lack nothing because we are good Christians who do good Christian acts. Trust God with his tithes and your offerings and He will take care of the rest. Have more faith and your checkbook will work itself out.
Z But then, things don’t work out. The extra $100 rebate from the electric company turns into a $500 fee bill from LSU. We finally manage to save up enough for a car repair we’ve been putting off and Kristine picks up a piece of shrapnel in the side of her tire. And scraping by month-by-month starts to feel like some sort of eternal test of character or punishment or anything but abundance.
K This sort of “Insert Prayer and Bible Study token, receive financial blessings” mantra is a self-righteous poison that equates wealth with godliness and poverty with evil. It diminishes the multitude of non-money ways that the Lord does provide for us as less important background blessings that we can only be grateful for once we’ve achieved financial abundance. I know this, and yet, I still hear it in my head. “If I just had more faith…”
Z But that’s not how it works. God’s provision is not defined by the number in our bank account or the shrinking grocery budget at the end of each month. And we are foolish to limit God to a single way to demonstrate His care for us.
K Sometimes, God’s provision looks like a steady job. Sometimes, it looks like losing that job so He can bring us to a better one.
Z Sometimes, God brings abundance in the form of extra time to spend volunteering. Sometimes, He brings it in the form of a happy, loving marriage.
K My task and great challenge is to be more faithful in actively seeking out and being grateful for the provision of the Lord in the many ways He has blessed me, instead of focusing on the ways I feel that He hasn’t.
-Kristine and Zach Isenhower