Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. (Philippians 4:11-13)
We have a cat named Whiskers. He is a good cat, friendly and affectionate, likes to snooze in sunny places, requires much less maintenance than our dog, and is rarely a nuisance – except when he wants to be fed.
I give Whiskers food at feeding time, but often he wants more. He’ll sit near me until he gets my attention, then tries to lead me to his food. Often I’m in the middle of doing something else and can’t respond to him right away. Knowing I’ve just fed him, I know he’s not starving, but Whiskers is persistent. Eventually he’ll start nudging my leg with his head, and if I still don’t give him more food, he’ll meow and reach up at me with his paws. Sometimes this process goes on for up to 20 minutes. More often than not, I return to his food dish and find that he still has food.
In the 20 minutes Whiskers has been begging me for food, he could have been eating! He deprives himself of his own food by begging for more! If he would just eat what he has, he would be satisfied and content.
Do I give him more if food is still in his dish? No. He must eat what he has before I give him more. Does Whiskers continue to pester me for more food? Yes. Then I get frustrated and scold him saying, “You have food!”
I started feeling that there was a lesson in these repeated scenarios. One day I finally got it. God puts up with the same behaviors from me. He is generous and dependable, always meeting my needs. However, I often walk away, leaving “food in my dish”, then seek Him again for another serving. Why do I do this? Sometimes I lose interest in what I have because I want something fresh and new. Other times I’m like Whiskers, too busy seeking more to realize that I already have what I need. If I would make good of what the Lord has already provided, I would be content.
Should I expect God to give me more when I haven’t yet made good of what He has already given me? No.
Can I trust God to provide for me as needed? Yes.
In this season of Thanksgiving, I need to take stock of the “harvest” I already have, offer thanks to the Lord for the many blessings He has given my family and me, and seek to be a good steward of those blessings in ways that bring glory and honor to God, and remember that I can always trust in the Lord for whatever I may need.