• The Rev. Charles Smith

Will there be enough?

Jack White

The Dead Weather has a song that asks a question that we all ask ourselves in those dark quiet places we are not willing to talk to anyone else about. Will there be enough. Will I have enough money to pay for my kids college? Will I have enough money to retire? Will I have enough to pay rent and buy my groceries? Will I have enough time to do everything I have to do?

Will there be enough?

I can still remember traveling while in graduate school to deliver a sermon at Eastern Shore Chapel in Virginia Beach. I was traveling without my wife for some reason and had grossly underestimated the rate at which my car would burn through fuel. I literally had $5 on me and nothing in the checking account. No credit card or other source of funding. I was3 and 1/2 hours from home with 1/4 of a tank of gas and $5. Will I have enough? It sure seemed like probably not.

I delivered the sermon, greeted the faithful after the service, and got ready to leave for home. A retired priest, The Rev. Gwynn Mudd, stopped me on my way and said, "I don't know why but the Lord told me to give this to you" as she slipped me a significant amount of cash. The rector of Eastern Shore Chapel, The Rev. Chris Thompson who had already bought me bible software in exchange for preaching, asked me to step into his office and handed me a check for more than I could have hoped.

Again I remember being diagnosed with late stage cancer in 2012. The first oncologist I saw told me that there was a .002% chance that I would live longer than five years. Not that I would not die from that cancer but that it might, or to put it more precisely .002% of the time it would, take more than 5 years. But my church and family gathered around me in prayer AND worked to take care of my personal and traveling needs. When I kept wondering if I was going to have enough money, or time, or health God stepped in. My experience has been that when I am most afraid Jesus steps in with just in time grace.

Fear had crept into my heart with that nagging question, "will there be enough?" But fear is not the Fruit of the Spirit. Fear is not a gift that God gives us. Fear is something that Satan whispers into your hear and mind to keep you paralyzed from following trusting in God.

This fear is not some failing of yours. Even Jesus' own disciples who walked and talked with him every day for three years fell prey to fear. In Luke's gospel account (Luke 17:51-10) Jesus disciples ask him to "increase our faith" suggesting that they did not have enough. At first, this seems like a really faithful and holy thing to ask for. But they are interested in counting up precisely how much faith they have to have in order to get the things the want.

Jesus looks around and sees a mulberry bush. There is nothing particularly significant about a mulberry bush it is just the first thing Jesus saw. Jesus says "“If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you" (Luke 17:6). He is trying to tell them that you don't need anymore faith than you already have because you have enough.

Enough for what? Enough for whatever it is that comes your way. This is not to say that God will not ever give you more than you can handle because he certainly will. BUT God will NEVER give you more more than you and he can handle together.

You have enough to do whatever it is God has given you to do. Jesus is not inviting you into fear, for he came to destroy death and all fear, but he is inviting you into discipleship. Jesus is inviting you into an afterlife long friendship with him.

If you making just having enough the goal you are likely to find that you never have quite enough. It always seems that about 10% more than you have right now is the amount you need. If you making having an afterlife long friendship with God the goal you are likely to have enough and then some to spare.

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