BE FAITHFUL WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, AND GOD WILL GIVE YOU MORE
Read: Finish your plate, get dessert!
Recently we celebrated my son’s 5th birthday, and before the big party even started – the big party that I’ve been preparing and running errands for, ordering, decorating, inviting, planning, and tirelessly orchestrating down to every detail solely for that 1000 watt smile of enjoyment from him – yeah, that party – my husband calls me to the kitchen to inform me that our dear birthday boy has already taken a finger dive right into the center of the cake. Nice. Of course, I tell him, he has to wait. It’s not time for cake yet, wait for it. “But, WHEN!?” “Well, after the decorating is done, and you get dressed, and the guests arrive and swim and play and sing and, then, once you’ve blown out the candles, CAKE!” “okayyyy,” he murmurs as he walks away to endure the insufferable wait for what he wants. Nevermind everything else amazing I’ve prepared, nevermind the actual party, just gimme the cake.
Isn’t that LIFE? Every cake center comes with the preparing and waiting and longing of that moment we can finally dig in to the center of what we really want right now.
God is so good, y’all. He totally has already given us everything we could possibly need or want. We kind of jack up the process by digging in early and sometimes bring on some consequences ourselves, or, worse, we miss out on the WHOLE PARTY God has prepared in the waiting because we can’t stand to not speed up the process ourselves.
Truth is, the cake isn’t the best part. And I love me some cake.
Yes, I just called the waiting the WHOLE PARTY. I know, it doesn’t feel that way, but deep down, in those moments of life between the high mountains, that is where we truly do our arriving and becoming. It’s easy to be faithful on the mountain tops. Let’s get faithful in the valleys.
Be faithful with what you have and God will give you more. This truth God shared (hit me upside the head) with me once upon a (many) time(s), has never failed as a great bar to measure when I can’t figure out why things aren’t moving along or I’m not getting were I’m trying desperately to be. Goals are so good. Be a goal digger! Goals push us, inspire us, and are even phenomenal for our mental health by focusing our attention on positive work and reward, and starving some facets of depression. Write them down, look at them daily, get accountable with someone about your goals – AND DON’T LET THEM BE THE BEST PART OF YOUR LIFE. The best part of a bucket list is MAKING ONE and the anticipation of checking those dreams off! Ok, maybe not always the BEST part, but the preparation and waiting is critical to the full experience of an achievement.
As a single mom, raising a handful of beautiful (headstrong), amazing (sassy) girls, I found myself discontent with our home. Discontent to say the least. I was working full time, doing foster care, in grad school studying for my master’s degree, and trying to navigate FIVE of us living in a small three bedroom apartment with the walls closing in on us. Did I mention ALL GIRLS? Girls have STUFF, and lots of it. I wrestled with the tight atmosphere we dwelled in and complained constantly about no room, no privacy, no storage, no s p a c e which I argued with God we desperately needed. I’m ashamed to say I was so discontent and self-focused about this blessing of a home that I would even cry. How dumb. We had everything we needed. I wanted more room, but, truly, I needed to get happy about where we were and what we had before God was moving us on to bigger and “better”. I look at one of my favorite pictures from that season now, just a view of us sitting on the couch, all of our feet laying around and all over each other as we watched something on tv in such close quarters, and now I really want to cry. We were snug as a bug in a rug and God did some deep stuff keeping us close like that for a precious season together. We had it all. We had each other. Now my girls are upstairs and I have to yell a half dozen times to get them down for breakfast or text them from afar down the hall that a movie is starting. I miss that no privacy, no storage, no s p a c e sometimes. God told me very clearly in my bedroom of that apartment, “baby girl, clean your room. Get your butt up and finish hanging the pictures, cook the meals, clean the toilets, organize ALL THE GIRL CLOTHES, and fall back in love with this place. This place is home. Get happy about it. Take care of it. Then, I will see your faithfulness. Take care of what I’ve given you. Show me I can trust you with more.”
Ungrateful got me stuck right where I was. Ungrateful keeps us stuck right where we are.
It took a few wrestling sessions with Him, but eventually I got up. I cleaned my room and lit candles for dinners (even though we couldn’t all fit in the kitchen at one time to cook together – my dream!), and we made our home more beautiful, as clean and as organized as it could possibly be. And we were happy. Like, truly content right where we were. We structured our time to include privacy and we had game nights and dinner parties, quiet times and crowded into my little bed for Saturday morning snuggles and giggles. They were the best of times.
And then God moved us. More space, tons of privacy, all the storage…
oh, and He even threw in a husband/father to share it with us. Like, wow. That’s a super long story short, but you get it. God knew all along that soon I would fall in love and this season with my girls so close would come to an end. Bigger and better was on the way, and my complaining was making the whole party a bust in the waiting.
I bawled my eyes out ugly crying on the back of the moving trailer the day we moved from that apartment. I’ll never forget that sacred place and the deep, beautiful things God did in us there. But, I took with me a lesson that rings true every single day since.
That was just the beginning of the lesson… I could list a million personal stories of how God has brought this up in my life again and again, reminding me more and more to get faithful with what I have, replace my discontent with gratitude and watch Him pour out more and more.
Your walk with God.
From your dirty floors to your cluttered mind, the office desk drawer, bank account, your dating life, your parenting, your fancy phone, even the words you speak or lies that hide… this truth applies.
Be faithful where you are, He says… take care of the gifts you’ve been given… finish what you started… do the best you can with what you have, where you are… get grateful and faithful. I’ve got more for you, when you’re (really) ready.
This life lesson is straight outta scripture. If you have a sec, check out Matthew 25:14-30