Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.” Chuckling here but I have a great deal of compassion and admiration for Jesus who was often engaged in the task of what I call, attempting to download watermelon ideas into a pea brain. I don’t find that term offensive at all, but incredibly miraculous. The Lord of the universe who hung the stars in the sky, desires to communicate with us.
There is however, a huge language barrier, and I am not talking about Aramaic, Hebrew, or Greek. God is vast, infinite, huge and abundant, and we are very small. Hence the idea of trying to download watermelon ideas into pea brains. It’s like trying to explain quantum physics to a small child. I am just in awe.
The Lord has been teaching me all about kingdom abundance versus scarcity for my entire life. I’m a hard sell too, abandonment issues, trust issues, cynicism, skepticism, bitterness, you name it. Long story short, the kingdom of heaven operates on abundance, plentitude, more than enough, while the world operates on scarcity, deprivation, and envy.
Money and finances are only one subset of that abundance story. I tend to feel quite rich when I have hot running water and coffee. Also, the freedom to move about as I wish, which I shall write about another time. Just saying, someone like Britney Spears probably has a lot of money on paper, but according to social media, she is not free and therefore not really “rich.” Freedom is an important component of kingdom abundance.
Good news, Jesus also came to set the captives free! So there you go, He’s got that part of our riches covered, too.
I talk about my grandma a lot, because her death was really a pivotal moment in my faith. Mostly it threw up a big wall between God and I and created years of conflict. She was my only lifeline to the world and He allowed her to be murdered. God has been so incredibly good to me, I mean He patiently endured years of my pain and anger and my explaining to Him why He didn’t exist. I can’t even begin to tell you how patient, how faithful God has been to me. It just defies words.
Back when I was a kid He would whisper “ten fold” to me. I had no idea what that really meant, but it’s a nice round number, and easy to multiply, so I’ll take it. God never replaces individual people, people can not be replaced, but He does restore roles, He does restore what has been stolen and lost, ten fold over. You don’t just get a new friend or the influence of another grandma, you get ten of them. Or perhaps 50. I kid you not, God has been so good to me, I think I have now been blessed by the wisdom and love of about 50 near and dear grandmas.
One of them taught me that poverty was a mindset, an attitude, and also a real gift, a great blessing. Just because we’re poor, doesn’t mean we have to live that way. That is why we comb our hair, a feat not for the faint of heart back in the day, let me tell you. I had matted hair that would be the envy of today’s quite fashionable dreadlocks and straw. That is why we clean up after ourselves, too. We are not “poor people,” we are royalty.
One of those grandmas braided my hair and put ribbons in it. One of them made me a purple dress. One of them gave me a lifesaver storybook, candy I still buy today in memory of her. All those tiny things together led me to accept that God is good and that He takes care of His own.
Ecclesiastes says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” We are also called to make the ugly things beautiful, in their time. It’s not a chore or a burden, it’s the very essence of who we are, Who we were made in the image of.
Most of our issues as people come from scarcity, lack, fear of not enough to go around. A scarcity mindset tends to produce envy, fear, insecurity, and hostility. An abundance mindset creates contentment, security, confidence. You have more than enough, and even more will be added to you. I am laughing again, but I sometimes pray very carefully, ask for just a tiny drop of what I want due to God’s propensity to turn the whole hose on you. He is a good, good Father, He desires to bless us, somewhat enthusiastically.
This can be kind of a tricky concept to embrace because we live in a world that constantly sells (and profits) off the notion of scarcity. Ironically, this is true of both capitalism and socialism. I sometimes wonder what the world would look like if we all just reached out for the infinite supply of kingdom abundance and began to just bask in gratitude. We can, it’s totally available to us. When we are just overflowing with the goodness of God we tend to be content and at peace, and fulfilled.
Still laughing here, but I actually don’t just levitate 3 feet off the ground in a state of grace 24/7. I get stressed out and cranky. However, I have learned that the glass is not his or hers, or half empty, or being kept away from me, it is always refillable.