Monday, May 28, 2018

Our Daily Bread, Literally. By:C.C.

"Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
At that statement, his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions."

It is only from a place of privilege, it may seem, that these questions can be asked: "How can I choose poverty?"  "How can I grow purer in heart to rely on God's provisions?"  "How can I use what I have received to serve,and to give Him glory?" More so, to be willing to give even from our sense of poverty is the increase in understanding of where our wealth rests, in God alone. We risk being empty, to discover our soul's poverty and to recognize the way that our Lord fills us and supplies for our needs. 

When our sense of want exceeds honest sense of our need is when we have great unrest, this is fertile ground for growing hard of heart. This is the risk of making objects our god. To know God's provision we must declutter from the possessions we have made our gods, and risk being uncomfortable, to recognize that what most holds us together and sustains us is not the latest fad or purchase but an eternal God. 

I can admit, in comparison to others in society, that I know very little of authentic poverty in regards to basic needs. I sit in a furnished home, with the air condition on for comfort, pantry full of food, this laptop to write on, and other such things that in beginning to list them makes me feel quite uncomfortable. Discomfort from the honest sense of having prompt access to a series of items that I have seemingly unmerited, easily acquired, none of them that I will take with me, none of them define me, or proclaim worth. 

How can I choose poverty? This question is one that encouraged me to leave my job (temporarily so) after the birth of our first child. It was a decision that truly shook things up a bit. Including our home at first as my husband looked at me asking his most common question "Catherine, are you nuts?"  "Yes, Yes, I am , and God is so good."

What has flowed from this decision is the humble recognition of how much is needed and how much is truly unnecessary. This has made me appreciate and better understand the way that God provides and the fragility of true wealth , even the eternal riches, woven in the temporal that surround us daily. We cannot perceive them swamped in things of the world, with an appetite solely for material goods. I am not suggesting people to strip down naked and run through the streets, leaving their place of employment and give everything to the poor, but I am suggesting an honest risk of deciding even in minor ways daily to choose to be poor, to fast from a luxury, to sacrifice and go without beyond the time of 40 days in Lent. 

On May 5th, just some few weeks ago, I was given a deliberate view into how God often provides quite noticeably so, making Himself apparent and known. It is a moment that still makes me chuckle and fills me with awe. 

When the babies sleep about 12:30 I usually workout at home, if the husband is home then I go for a run in the neighborhood, Anyway before leaving for my run, my husband said "I'll barbecue for lunch today, but we need bread so when you're back can you please go buy some?"

While I was on my run the wind was gusty (we had a terrible storm on the 4th) and right before me caught in the grass but not blowing away is a $5.00 bill. No one around. And I'm like "Man, God is so good. Bread money!" 

Then I reflected so much on how our Lord is the bread, yes, but by knowing this then we're secured that He truly has our needs fulfilled, an enforced providence to sustain our needs, thank You Jesus! I was more joyous to share this with my husband because now I had a beautiful way of showing God's love to and for us in a tangible way to my husband, who has become the sole "breadwinner" now which poses it's own daunting task and pressures at times. 

So I ran home excited....and I find my husband and said humorously, but obviously in a profoundly serious way too.
"Jesus says keep running the good race and He'll always help provide your daily bread, here's 5 bucks, go buy your daily bread" 
The husband was pretty moved  "that's amazing." And I reassured him,  "You see, I'm not crazy! "

Anyway the bread that day was $3.49. 

Our Lord gave a small glimpse to me of His sustaining hand.

The next day was Sunday, and though we are monthly Family of Faith tithers at our parish, I was feeling quite moved by the fact that the money on the ground belonged to someone, not to us. I made my daughter put a $5.00 bill into the collection that day.

I recognized that when God gives us what is unmerited and not ours, but so incredibly His, we cannot help but feel impelled to give back and serve Him in some small way. 

That God provides is certain, what we make of His providence makes certain our share in the Eternal riches. 

May we all grow to be poor in a society that suffocates us with the need to be materially rich, finding there the opportunity to serve from any wealth received for His glory and the good of others. (CC)

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