[The artisans making the Tabernacle] said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.”
Exodus 36:5 (NRSVCE)
When I was fifteen I went to a weekend long conference just south of the Chicago area. I’d never been to Chicago, so I and my two friends drove into the city and spent the afternoon sightseeing. When we got back to the car, we discovered that my duffel bag had been stolen out of the car. It had everything I brought with me including my money for the conference. I was left, literally, with nothing but the clothes on my back for the weekend.
Upon arrival at the conference we explained my situation to the people at the registration table. They assured me that it was not a big deal, and they’d make arrangements to have my parents send a check for my registration. At the beginning of the first session that evening I was asked to stand and the host explained to everyone at the conference what had happened.
I was unprepared for the outpouring of generosity I was about to experience. All weekend long people were handing me cash. People who lived nearby went home and brought back boxes full of clothes for me. No matter how much I implored people that I had more than enough to get me through the next two days of the weekend conference, it just kept coming. I went home with far more than I had stolen, including a really good spiritual lesson.
That was my first experience in life with having something stolen from me, and I’d never been in a position where I was on my own and in need. I can remember being kind of freaked out by the experience and how I was going to manage, but I quickly learned that God provides through the generosity of others. I’ve endeavored for just about forty-years to pay it forward whenever the opportunity arises. That’s how Kingdom economics works.
In yesterday’s chapter, Moses asked the Hebrew people to bring an offering of materials for constructing this temple tent God told them to build. In today’s chapter, the outpouring of generosity is overwhelming and Moses tells everyone to stop bringing more materials for the work.
I couldn’t help but think of Jesus words this morning as I pondered the Hebrews generosity, and the generosity I experienced at the very beginning of my spiritual journey:
What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6:31-34 (MSG)
I also thought of the early followers of Jesus generously bringing everything they had to life’s potluck and making sure that everyone had enough.
In this time of COVID craziness with many people out of work, in the wake of small family businesses burned to the ground by riots, there are a lot of people worried “about what may or may not happen tomorrow.” I confess that I’m feeling the anxiety, at times. Today’s chapter is a good reminder of God’s provision. In the economy of God’s Kingdom, there is always more than enough. My priority is to be generous in meeting the needs of others and then trust God’s generosity in meeting mine.
Have a great weekend, my friend!
If you know anyone who might be encouraged by today’s post, please share.
2 thoughts on “More Than Enough”
2-3 Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab along with all whom God had gifted with the ability to work skillfully with their hands.
We all have gifts. Sometimes it takes quite a journey to identify where we belong in the cosmos. As I watch my kids journey into adulthood, the task of finding your place can be overwhelming. We have all been gifted uniquely and our “sweet spot” in life can occur when we engage into that space. Our culture has focused a lot on money and success rather than guiding people into their sweet spot. That’s kind of a bummer. Yesterday, I built a storage shed with my mom. It was a great, sweaty day. 🙂 In the past, prior to his death, my dad would have been there beside me, offering solutions, wisdom and a helping hand. I missed him yesterday. However, my mom was awesome. She is a doer. Somewhere during the day she commented, “I’m good at manual labor, not so much the thinking part.” Ha! Self-awareness is key in this life, right? We all have gifts. I was the thinker yesterday, interpreting the instructions and mom was a worker. She worked hard and helped out tremendously, both with work and encouragement. I’m thankful I had that day with her. Now, let’s go engage where we are gifted. I have a conference call shortly, with my gift of gab. 🙂
I am sad that some jerk from my hometown stole your stuff. But not surprised at all of the generosity of people.
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