You know that saying, "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone"? Well, it seems like a lot of things have been gone lately due to a short supply. I haven't been able to find my kids' juice, their mayonnaise without soybean oil, or the type of gluten-free bread they eat. This wouldn't be a big deal if our family didn't have life-threatening food allergies. I can't help but thank God my kids are teenagers now because if they were babies, with the recent short supply of formula, they would have likely been in the hospital as we only had one type of formula we could use. And we can't forget the toilet paper shortage we all experienced not too long ago.
We are living in a sparse and scarce world, and I confess I have allowed a scarcity mindset to overtake me. Maybe you, too, have had a scarcity mindset as food, gas, housing, and everything else has gone up in price. Perhaps you have asked questions like, how will we have enough? When will we reach the ceiling?
Sometimes, Forbes and other online business magazines try to answer these questions. What they can't do is heal the wounds or fears in my heart, and when I am honest with myself and God, I recognize my heart is scared. So the question I need to answer is, how can I find comfort for my heart? Can I try to see or explore scarcity through the eyes of Christ?
When I try to see scarcity through the eyes of Christ, I first think of Matthew 6:31-34. In the Passion Translation, this passage says: "So then, forsake your worries! Why would you say, 'What will we eat? Or 'What will we drink?' or "What will we wear?' For that is what the unbelievers chase after. Doesn't your heavenly Father already know the things your bodies require? So above all, constantly seek God's kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself."
Those words in Matthew are a lot more comforting than what Forbes says. It always comes back to seeking God's kingdom, and all these less important things will be taken care of (Matthew 6:25-34). Granted, it's not some magic system where we just seek God, and what we need is provided, but that could happen. God fed five thousand out of five small loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21). There is also the story in the Old Testament where Elisha told the widow who only had one jar of oil to use the oil she had to fill up every jar she could gather, and she was able to fill enough jars to more than pay off all her family's debts (2 Kings 4:1-7).
The next time you are in the store and can't find an item you are looking for, or can't afford what you need, I encourage you to seek Christ. Even then, we aren't always going to get the item, but maybe God is telling us, "I got your back and know what you need." Maybe our perspective will shift, and we'll realize that even while we don't have what we're looking for at the moment, God is providing us with peace, grace, strength, courage, joy, and more, as we wait for God to meet our other needs.
What is God saying to you about provision?
Continue the conversation in the comments, below!
Andrea Catlett, MA, is a former pastor and has served a wide variety of ministries. She currently serves as a chaplain with Fallen Sparrow Spiritual Care. Through her education and experience, she has found prayer to be her constant calling. As a special needs mom and being disabled herself, she naturally advocates for those who need their voice heard in the healthcare system or simply a fellow friend. Andrea is a member of the Eden Spiritual Care board, and is also an Eden Spiritual Care class instructor.