Not enough . . . More than enough

Not Enough

Ever had times when there was not enough time, patience, money, energy . . .  whatever?



More than Enough

Or times when there was MORE THAN ENOUGH? Like this delicious dinner we recently enjoyed with Rick Iles at Hanul Pescarilor, a Hungarian Restaurant near the border of Hungary in Romania . . . I could only eat half of my tasty Hungarian Goulash.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband Jim and I traveled to Eastern Europe to speak at a publishing conference for Christian publishers and booksellers in Romania.  We hoped to be an encouragement to the people who attended.  We ended up coming home encouraged ourselves – on several different fronts.

We were excited to see the good work that Christian publishers in Romania are doing in spite of significant challenges and obstacles.

We enjoyed hearing their individual stories – especially accounts of how they came to faith in Christ.

We were intrigued with just how young Christian publishing in Romania is – most of these publishers have been in business less than 10 years.

Rick Iles of LINKS invited us to speak at this conference, and we enjoyed presenting at four different sessions over the course of the days we were there.

One extra presentation I agreed to came as a (pleasant) surprise to me.  The first day we were in Romania (Monday), I was asked if I would be willing to share some devotional thoughts on Wednesday morning.  What made this request a pleasant one was that early that  same morning I had been reading from my One-Year Bible in John Chapter 6 – the account of Jesus multiplying the five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand people.  As I was reading, I had this fleeting thought: ‘This passage seems like it would be encouraging to the people we’re going to be spending time with this week . . .’

So when Rick asked me – later that day – if I would give a devotional on Wednesday, it didn’t take me long to decide what passage of the Bible I would read from.

In John 6, when Jesus asked Philip where they could find bread to feed all the people on the hillside, Philip replied “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”  (John 6:7)

Not enough

Andrew spoke up and said, “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish.  But what good is that with this huge crowd?” (John 6:8-9)

Still Not enough

Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people.  He did the same with the fish.  When he asked for the leftovers to be gathered, the pieces filled twelve baskets. (John 6:11-13)

More Than Enough

Many of us have times in our lives when it seems that there’s Not enough.  Maybe it’s a health crisis.  Maybe it’s a challenging marriage.  Maybe it’s the loss of a job.  Maybe it’s a time of depression.  Whatever it is, we have no clue how God will provide for our needs.

I clearly remember the first time I was aware of God’s provision for my Not Enough.

I wanted to attend an Urbana Missions conference over the winter break of my freshman year at college, but I didn’t want to burden my parents for the money.  They were already paying for my college bills.  So I decided to ask God to provide the money if he wanted me to attend.

Several weeks later my mom called from home.  She said that I must have forgotten to cash one of my summer paychecks because the company I worked for had inquired about the outstanding check.  I explained to my mom where I kept my pay stubs, and when she looked in the shoebox in my closet, sure enough, there was the uncashed check sitting on top of all the pay stubs.

Not only did the check pay for the Missions conference, but it also covered my transportation there and back!

That was one of my early More than Enough experiences, and there have been plenty since.  I continue to be grateful that God sees and God provides.  He did it for characters in the Bible.  He has done it for me and for people around me.  And as for the future . . . He has left us these assuring words in John 14:1-2.  “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is More Than Enough room in my Father’s home . . . “

Blessings,

Ellen

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Not enough . . . More than enough

  1. Debbie

    Ellen,

    Thank you for sharing this story of God’s overflowing, unexpected grace in your life. It’s a great reminder.
    When we trust in God’s provision, He provides exceedingly abundantly. We need to keep our eyes open to see, and then we need to remember. I find writing down what God does for me helps me not to forget; and when I go back and reread what I have written, even years later, I am encouraged once again.

  2. Thanks for your kind comments, Debbie. Thanks, too, for your wise words – “We need to keep our eyes open to see [God’s provision], and then . . . remember.”

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