My box ran empty at last. I've been parceling them out a few at a time ever since our Christmas trip to the states. Now they're gone. I quite like these delectably disguised nibs of licorice with the pink and white candy coating; they remind me of my childhood somehow. But that's beside the point. As I plunked the empty box on my desk the other day I realized what an apt descriptor it bore of the God we serve. He is good and He is plenty--all we need, ever, to handle anything and everything.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. II Cor.9:8
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Ps.84:11
It's a simple concept really, with endless Scriptural support, but it’s not so easy to grab hold of in the day to day demands of our lives—God is Good and Plenty for all our needs.
I am easily intimidated by open-ended tasks, especially creative ones. What if I can't come up with what is needed? What if it's not good enough? What if it's not ready in time? What if I-just-C-A-N'-T?! These questions are ultimately only answerable by faith. What God calls me to accomplish He will enable me to accomplish, maybe not in my timing, maybe not to my specifications, maybe it will be a different product than I envision, but He will enable me to do whatever He has called me to do for His glory. He is GOOD and He is always enough for my lack; He is the definition of 'PLENTY'.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want...right?
I read the parable of the workers in the vineyard this week with its picture of the Master we serve. The early birds agreed on the day's wage before starting in at the crack of dawn. They slaved away through the heat of the day. As they worked others were added to the workforce, some at mid-morning, others at noon and mid-afternoon, and some didn't get to work until an hour before quitting time. To each the master promised: "Whatever is right I will give you." But when the foreman handed out the pay, not only did he start with the late-comers, but he paid them a full day's wage, the same as everybody else, even the hard-working early birds who had born the brunt of the burden in the vineyard that day.
When they protested to the Master, despite His having paid them exactly what was agreed upon at the start of the day, his response was:
'Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?' Mt.20:15
We serve a good and plenty God. He is lavish in dispensing His grace. It is enough for the first and the last, for all who serve Him, no matter what strength or weakness they bring to the task.
Oh, there may appear to be inequities in this lifetime. Some are called to suffer the heat of the day while others seem to get a free ride. Most of us live in mansions while multitudes live in ramshackle huts. Life doesn't appear to be fair. Some people seem to have all the talent while others get stuck with the grunt work...but in the big scheme of things, God's wage is good and plenty. And His grace is sufficient for each and every calling. And besides, what present challenge can compare with what's to come at the end of the Day? Those He calls He grants an inheritance. We are God's heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ!
"This shall be their inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel; I am their possession. Ez.44:28
But I digress. Because God is Good and because He has Plenty He is only too willing to share, He is well able to equip us for whatever He calls us to do.
This couldn't have been better illustrated than in my morning's reading in Exodus 31. The detailed plans for the tent of meeting have been given to Moses. God has designed it to be gloriously beautiful--with gold and silver and bronze and fine linen ornately embroidered in blue and purple and scarlet yarns... The details go on and on. Now the people must create it as per His instructions. But He doesn't leave them to their best efforts. He gifts them two men and He fills these two men with His Spirit and "with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones fro setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft." God gives the ability He requires to accomplish the task He commands.
"I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you." Ex.31:6
His designs are grand and His Spirit will bring them to pass using mere men (and women). Wow! So take heart if you have a calling that seems way over your head. God is Good and Plenty to bring it to pass through you for His own glory.
He calls us to assess with sober judgment our calling according to the measure of faith that He has assigned and then... “having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them... “ Rom. 12:3-6
We serve a God who is GOOD and who is PLENTY for all we need.
Taste and see that the Lord is good! Ps.34:8
Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zech.4:6
Truly God is good…to those who are pure in heart. Ps.73:1