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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Consuming Reflections: Everyone gathered enough


The story of God providing manna and quail (Ex 16:18) to the people of God in the desert is a pretty remarkable one and one that remains instructive today.

Lesson 1. God provides. That's what He does, it's one of His names - Provider. We can and should have confidence in His ability to meet our needs. OK maybe we won't all find provision outside on the ground every day we wake up, but that doesn't mean His provision isn't really there.

Lesson 2. God provides enough. We rarely like the word 'enough', we prefer surplus. We want savings, we want extras, we like the idea of disposable income (we probably see that as a basic human right now), yet God would have us be content with 'enough'.

On a personal note, we're having a run of things breaking - boiler, cooker, dishwasher, exhaust, toilet, printer. Fixing and replacing puts a strain on the household budget. But we have enough. There's nothing we NEED that we don't have or that God has provided for. There are some things we'd like, but we can wait. Has life suddenly got harder? No, not really but things I'd like to do sometime maybe well they don't seem so possible. So more waiting.

Lesson 3. They gathered enough not the same. If you need more, you gathered more. This isn't restricting people to the same amount, but it is restricting them to what they need. Gather too much and it all goes rotten. If only The City and Wall Street listened to that advice.

When there isn't enough - life is hard. I'm not sure I've met anyone in the UK that's never had enough of what they actually need. Although I've met plenty of people who haven't had enough of what they want.

If the church is to life differently and demonstrate a quality of life that stands out in the UK, a rediscovery of the word 'enough' will be needed.

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