How to live freely

I feel their fingers again, fingers of resentment and tight-fistedness squeezing the life out of joy and generosity. Why do I feel I have to carefully guard every moment, every penny, every ounce of energy, when You, Abba, are such an Extravagant Giver? Do I fear that you will decide to stop being generous? All that I give  is such a small portion of what you have lavished on me. Do I think I have to hoard what You have given in case You don’t give again? But You are not fickle like my heart. It is Your very nature to give lavishly. Can I not trust You in this?

“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, will He not also along with Him graciously give us all things?”

I think of the story a friend recently told me from Sleeping with Bread by Dennis Linn. People working with orphans in post World War II Germany found that even once these starved orphans were given new homes with plenty of food, they were unable to sleep, fearful that there would not be food for the following day. They could not sleep until they were given a piece of bread to hold onto while they slept. Then, reassured that there would be food for tomorrow, they slept soundly.

I am learning that giving thanks for the extravagant gifts helps me to rest in God’s character and know that He who is my Provider will not stop providing. He will not stop loving. I can rest, confident that the One who has provided so lavishly for today will provide for tomorrow as well.

A few of the many blessings:

long Sunday afternoon naps

the smell of frying onions

mushroom sandwiches

a bright red tank top in my size on the clearance rack

Taize songs

Regent bookstore sales

flute and violin duets

a multiethnic group of small children delightedly chasing pigeons

a leisurely walk along the sea wall

being followed by a Canada goose

sunsets reflected in the water

holy experience