The Gift of Lack

1. Matthew 6:11

Activated - - NEWS - By Marie Alvero Marie Alvero is a for­mer mis­sion­ary to Africa and Mex­ico. She cur­rently lives a happy, busy life with her hus­band and chil­dren in Cen­tral Texas, USA.

Last year was a rough one. Not ter­ri­ble, just try­ing. Our fam­ily faced lots of chal­lenges re­gard­ing work, health, and fi­nances, and I’ve been hop­ing that things will be eas­ier this year. But let me tell you about what God is teach­ing me right now, be­cause there are some won­der­ful things that I have gained from these chal­lenges.

One day in par­tic­u­lar, I was frus­trated and dis­cour­aged about money be­ing tight, again. I was also very, very tired. I felt like I was giv­ing all I had and al­ways com­ing up short.

I opened my Bi­ble to the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” The pic­ture is of

1 de­pen­dence, of hav­ing to come to God each day for enough to make it through that day. There was no run­ning around like a crazy per­son try­ing to get it all done, rather the con­fi­dence that God will give us enough. Every day.

Isn’t it em­bar­rass­ing to be that de­pen­dent on God? Doesn’t that sug­gest we don’t have our act to­gether? Or that we’re lazy or un­suc­cess­ful? I’ve had to re­frame how I look at lack and want in or­der to see the things that God has been try­ing to show me. Lack is an op­por­tu­nity to draw closer to God, to learn to trust in His good­ness and not in my abil­i­ties.

This isn’t just re­gard­ing fi­nan­cial lack. What about lone­li­ness? Or dis­abil­ity? Or any­thing that causes empti­ness? I’ve no­ticed that when I feel lack or empti­ness, my first re­ac­tion is to try to fill that void to feel bet­ter—friends, stuff, en­ter­tain­ment, ac­com­plish­ments, and “pro­duc­tiv­ity.” But right now I’m in a po­si­tion where I’m forced to take a look at what’s go­ing on in my heart and life. I’m get­ting to the root of some of my fears and other is­sues, and I’ve found my­self be­ing grate­ful for this op­por­tu­nity for spir­i­tual growth and the lack of dis­trac­tions.

In the sea­sons of life, some­times we bloom and blos­som, and some­times our branches are bare and our roots are forced to go deep to sur­vive the win­ter. Spring al­ways fol­lows win­ter, though. If you’re in the sea­son of lack, maybe God is us­ing this to show you His good­ness. Maybe He wants to show you His faith­ful­ness and the beauty of de­pend­ing on Him. He’s your good shep­herd (and mine), and He will take care of us.

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