“Many of us live in affluence or at least comfort, and yet contentment always seems just out of reach,” says author Sharla Fritz. “We live in a culture that constantly screams, ‘More, more!’ Advertising tells us we need more clothes, more cool gadgets. Our bank account tells us we need more money. Society may make us feel we need a bigger home, more space. Social media urges us to be more—more impressive, more successful, more accomplished. We all search for more and can’t find the elusive ‘enough’.”
If you’ve ever wrestled with finding enough, you’ll appreciate what Sharla has to say in this guest post about finding enough, unpacking God’s sufficiency, and practicing contentment. Welcome, Sharla, I’m glad to be learning from you! Congratulations and blessings on your new book, Enough for Now: Unpacking God’s Sufficiency (Concordia Publishing House, 2019).
A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, “What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.” Then he said, “I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, ‘My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!'”
But God said to him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?” (Luke 12:16-20)
Two thousand years later this story still rings true. Our society buys more and more, stores more and more. We build bigger houses with bigger closets. And if that’s not enough room for all our stuff, we can go down the street and rent a storage unit. I don’t have any barns or silos in my back yard, but Jesus could have inserted my name in the story. Even though God has never let me go hungry, even though I’ve always had enough money to pay the bills, I have reasoned, “If I only had more, then I would be satisfied.”
This story helped me explore the various areas in our lives where we may struggle with having enough. The rich man had money, but he wanted more. He had possessions, but he wanted more. He could have given away some of his abundance, but he decided to keep it for himself. The rich man stored up food—another area where many of us struggle with having enough (or having too much!).
Jesus told the story in response to a man who wanted Jesus to settle a dispute between the man and his brother. We may wrestle with finding enough in our relationships too—wanting to find Mr. or Ms. Right, wanting children, wanting friends. In the story of the rich fool, God tells the man he is out of time—he will die that night. Most of us struggle with not having enough time! I think one reason the rich man in the story built the bigger barns was to look more impressive. I—and many of us—may often feel that we are not enough. The world tells us that we are not good-looking enough, important enough, good enough, smart enough.
In one little story Jesus addressed all our issues in finding enough!
A little while later, Jesus reminded his followers they didn’t need to worry about food or clothing because the Father promised to look after their needs. He said to them, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:22-32).
When I read Jesus’ words, I hear him whispering: “Look, you don’t have to be like the rest of the world chasing after things in the hope that possessions or positions will fill the emptiness inside. Live in trust that I know what you need. You are part of my flock, you are following me. But like sheep, you don’t know what you need as well as your Shepherd does. Remember Your Father is a loving parent who takes great happiness in giving you the kingdom.”
I’m learning that when I focus on the God of sufficiency and his good gifts to me, I am more able to ignore the culture’s cry for more. I am more able to live with enough for now. When I understand that getting the next item on my wish list won’t actually satisfy, I can stop the constant cycle of striving and getting and being disappointed, striving and getting and being disappointed. Instead, I look at what God has already given and look for “enough for now” moments—times when my heart overflows with gratitude for God’s blessings. These moments can be big moments, like the weddings of my children, but they can also be small moments, like my first sip of mango passion fruit tea in the morning.
I’m learning that I can trust the God of sufficiency and ask him to transform my desires. I can appreciate the gifts the Lord has given and live with a holy longing for what is to come.
And that is enough for now.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: In what ways do you wrestle with finding enough? What “enough for now” moments can you identify?
With personal stories and thought-provoking applications, Sharla Fritz makes Bible study fun and uplifting. Her previous Bible study books include Waiting, Soul Spa, Divine Design, Bless These Lips. For more information, see her website or connect with Sharla on Facebook.
Enough for Now Study Group
A free online study of Enough for Now with author Sharla Fritz, June 25 – August 13
Finding Enough: A 7-Day Jump-Start to Decluttering Your Life
A free step-by-step guide to decluttering your heart and home
Order Enough for Now: Unpacking God’s Sufficiency by Sharla Fritz
Available from Concordia Publishing House and Amazon, this book has eight chapters followed by a study guide that includes questions for reflection and exercises for practicing enough.
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