Grasping. Clinging. Containing. Owning. Hiding. Hoarding. Defending.
These can be our immediate tendencies when something good is within reach. We find ourselves grasping for things and trying to possess them. We attempt to control and own, to protect and hide. We fall into the lie that God is not truly a God of abundance, that He is somehow limited and so we must take care of things. There is enough for others, but when it comes to me, will there be enough? After all, don’t we live in a world of scarcity?
A World of Scarcity
If someone gets a promotion at work, that inevitably means that someone else did not. If someone wins a race, someone else necessarily loses the race. Some people have plenty, to the point of conspicuous luxury, while other people barely survive. We see scarcity all around us: hunger, thirst, disease, homelessness, loneliness, and spiritual poverty. We watch churches burn and wars unfold. We see starvation in our own cities. We even personally feel scarcity: the scarcity of understanding, affection, or compassion. Our world is a world of scarcity.
And we often let this worldly paradigm of scarcity seep into our spiritual lives. We have seen sparsity in the world and we apply these experiences to our relationship with God. We project our false beliefs on Him so that He does not seem totally sovereign, but somehow seems insufficient. And now, suddenly, God is not Who He says He is.
This sounds a lot like the first sin, doesn’t it? Eve had to grasp for the fruit because God wasn’t enough. He was holding something back. It’s an all too familiar set of lies. God is not enough and so we must grasp and control.
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What to Do When You Doubt God’s Abundance
So how do we combat these untruths in our lives?
Read the Word
Let us first turn to Scripture to combat this dangerous lie of an exiguous God. During our Savior’s time on earth, He was unceasingly showing us that His love is a love of true abundance.
At the wedding at Cana, Christ had the servants fill the stone jars “to the brim” (John 2:7). He didn’t just provide wine for the wedding feast, He provided an abundance of it. His miracle filled the jars all the way to the very top.
When He multiplied the loaves and the fishes, there were seven baskets with leftovers (Matthew 15:37). Now, it seems that our omniscient Savior would know exactly how many people He needed to feed and multiply accordingly, doesn’t it? He is showing us that He will always give us more than enough. He will provide so that we may be perfectly satisfied.
When our Savior forgave sins, He also healed bodies. And when He died for us, He gave every last thing He had, holding absolutely nothing back. He wouldn’t even take a mixture of wine and gall (a concoction given to criminals to numb some of the pain of execution) before His crucifixion (Matthew 27:34). Even after He expired and handed over His spirit to the Father, Jesus still wasn’t finished giving. In a the ultimate exemplification of His love, Christ’s Sacred Heart gushed forth blood and water (John 19: 32-27). Our salvation story is unquestionably a story of abundance.
Learn from Our Lady
Let us also turn to our Mother Mary in order to learn to trust in His abundant love. While Eve grasped and clung, Mary held her hands open to receive all that God wanted to give her. She believed in the Father’s providential care. She lived out a perfect trust in Him so that she never had to wonder if His plan was going to be enough. She will take us under her protective mantle and help us to see how plentiful His divine love is for each of us. So let us come and sit at her feet to learn all that she has to teach.
So here, through deep Scripture study and the intercession of our beautiful Mother, is an invitation to live more fully in the abundance of our God. Trust that He will give you exactly what you need and more. He will endlessly and generously bestow plentiful grace upon your heart. His abundance is limitless and His plan is greatness.
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Catherine Gilmore is a third grade teacher at a Catholic School in Saint Louis, Missouri. She enjoys reading quality children’s literature, studying the art of coffee roasting, and engaging in conversations about the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.