94: Blessed by More than Enough

94: Blessed by More than Enough

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings

Blessed by More than Enough

All I have seen teaches me
to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The question was simple enough. “Do we have enough money to …?” My husband, Bob, asked that question each time he went to the store or filled up the truck with gas. It wasn’t his question that put a huge knot in the middle of my stomach, but the answer I might have to give him.

Almost immediately after he purchased his dream truck the gas prices started to escalate. The new truck payment was a stretch for us. The higher gas prices and the rate at which this new vehicle drank the fuel was a potential budget breaker. It had already eaten the extra Bob allowed me to give to the church and was fast encroaching on what we considered staples of our lifestyle. The last fill-up cost sixty dollars. In a week the shiny red beauty would require another.

Because Bob was the only one making money, I felt guilt and shame when I had to tell him, no, we didn’t have enough money in the bank for him to do something. His work schedule fluctuated, so if I did go to work the typical 8:00 to 5:00 office hours, we would not see each other. Neither of us wanted that. I stayed busy at home to compensate for my lack of earning power, but it was getting harder to justify staying home. Worse, the job market was dwindling while the gas prices soared.

Most days I checked the classifieds. I sent out résumés. I responded to interviews when I got a call. I did everything I knew to be a help to my husband. It seemed no one wanted me to work for them. I prayed for God to direct me.

One morning, in April of 2007, I sat down to read my Bible. It had opened to the fourteenth chapter of Matthew where Jesus fed a multitude of hungry people. He asked the disciples to take account of what they had. They tallied five loaves of bread and two fish—to feed five thousand men, not counting women and children. Matthew says Jesus looked toward Heaven and blessed the food. On another occasion, in the fifteenth chapter of Matthew, Jesus took the bread and the fish and gave thanks. He expressed gratitude for what he had.

What Jesus had was not enough. He didn’t complain that it wasn’t enough. There is no account written where he asked God for more. He took what he had, blessed it and gave thanks for it. Then he distributed it to those who had nothing and it was enough—no, it was more than enough. He got back twelve baskets more than he gave out.

I stopped reading and closed my eyes. I’d been complaining. I told Bob with every fill-up that we needed to get rid of that pig of a truck. I hadn’t been thankful we were still able to fill it up, but instead, I worried that we wouldn’t be able to next time. That was a far cry from what Jesus did with what He had.

I opened my eyes and deliberately looked for reasons to be thankful. I began to bless the Lord for what we had. I thanked God that He provided for us all we needed, and even some things we didn’t need—like Bob’s truck. The more I blessed and thanked, the more peace reigned in my heart.

At lunch, I told Bob about my epiphany. “I believe we need to bless God and give thanks for all we have. That word bless means to speak well of. I believe we should display more gratitude for what we have.”

He didn’t say anything, just furrowed his brow and looked away while continuing to eat his lunch. But the peace in my heart assured me I was right.

I spent that afternoon speaking gratitude. I blessed our family, our home—everything I could think of. I thanked God for his goodness toward us and his faithfulness. I went to bed that night feeling peace I hadn’t felt in a long time.

The next morning I got a call from an acquaintance in the northern part of our state. Inez was part owner in a delivery service. They had an account with a bank located in the area where I live. The bank wanted to start a courier route in my area to service the banks in my town. Inez asked me to help her get it started.

I worked with her and the local bank to get the routes planned—all the day-to-day operations. She asked me to manage the route when we got the bid for it. I would be responsible for hiring employees, training, and scheduling. I took two of the routes myself and hired others to do the rest.

Without applying for a job, I had a job. I went from not having enough to having more than enough. This job was perfect for my husband’s schedule. We could have dinner together every day. I was there when he got home from work and every weekend.

Inez blesses me continually—she’s delighted with my work, and I in working with her. I praise the Lord for my job; I bless it and give thanks constantly. It is a miracle to me—a God-provision.

I know now, as I watch the jobless rate climb and our retirement plans dwindle, that God will provide. He has said he is willing. He has proven himself able. I refuse to worry.

My husband recently experienced deep cuts in his wages due to the economy. We now have an income substantially less than we had last month. But I continue to bless what we have and I am still so grateful for what God has provided. I take what we have and distribute it—and so far it has been enough. My trust is in God—not in the economy.

~Joie Fields

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