Take a few minutes to push the “pause” button on whatever is going on around you and be still with God.
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
God, through Moses, presents us with an offer of life in abundance, or life in adversity. I once thought that the reason I or other people were not happy was that I just didn’t have enough of what I needed. If I had just a little bit more money, I would be happy. If I had just a little bit more free time, then I would be happy. If I had just a little bigger house, then I would be happy. You may have said some of these things to yourself as well.
Something I have noticed while in the ministry has made me rethink these things. I have met people with more money than they could ever spend. Some of these people were extraordinarily unhappy. Some of these people were happier than I could ever imagine being. When I would visit people with debilitating illnesses, who could hardly move from the door to the couch, but they were warm, loving, and thankful and sometimes people in the same condition were cranky and cold-hearted. I have met people who have had the greatest health, strong bodies and minds, and they were miserable. I have met people who used their healthy bodies to serve God and their fellow humans.
The point to this is that I once thought if I had just a little more, I would have that abundant life. It’s not true though. I can have an abundant life in every situation I am in because my abundance is found in love of God, walking in God’s ways, and observing the commandments to the best of my ability. This makes me think of Paul who has learned to be content in any and all situations. A life of prosperity is a life in tune with God. As Paul writes,
“I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
God of abundance, help me to keep focused on you. I may never have all the riches in the world, but in you I have more than I need. Amen
Go with God!