Saturday, September 4, 2010

Forgotten Baskets

God is so good at reminders. A couple of nights ago, Paul and I re-worked our budget. That is something you can picture me saying with rolling eyes and maybe a little bit of sarcastic glee inflected in my voice. It was due to be done for some time, as bills and such have a way of changing from time to time. So, at 11:00 p.m., when I desperately wanted to go to bed, I sat down on the couch next to my hubby and the computer with my worst attitude in tow.

We re-worked. It looks decent on paper. Commitments were re-made. Doors of communication that had been shut were opened again. I reminded myself several times that a budget is not shackles on our hands, but rather smart boundaries that create freedom. Freedom to know what we have to work with. Freedom to not have that "uh-oh" feeling of spending more than we meant to or should have.

Last night (again with the bad attitude!!), I waved a handful of cash in front of Paul, saying "THIS is what I'm supposed to get a week's worth of groceries on???" It seemed measly. But we HAD already bought a few groceries with it, so it wasn't the full amount of grocery budget for the week. But the amount made me angry. I wasn't even paying attention to the food that we had not yet used from last week's groceries.

I was frustrated. I went to bed and opened my Bible. And, ha ha ha, wouldn't you know it...I was ready for Mark, chapter 8. Jesus fed 4,000 men with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Four. Thousand. Men. (not even including women and children). Seven loaves of bread. Four-thousand men. Repeat it over and over and let that sink in just a smidge.

But that isn't even the best part. In my opinion, anyway.

They had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then he commanded them: "Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod."

16 They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread. 17 Aware of this, He said to them, "Why are you discussing that you do not have any bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Is your heart hardened? 18 Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many baskets full of pieces of bread did you collect?"

"Twelve," they told Him.

20 "When I broke the seven loaves for the 4,000, how many large baskets full of pieces of bread did you collect?"

"Seven," they said.

21 And He said to them, "Don't you understand yet?"

So. First of all, the disciples had seen Jesus provide for thousands of people with a few measly loaves of bread not just once, but TWICE. Thousands of people! With baskets full of food left over!! And then they get on the boat, just the small lot of them, with one loaf of bread, and start complaining and worrying about how they aren't going to have anything to eat. But Jesus was still with them!!

They had forgotten what they had seen Him do in the past. They were short-sighted, focused more on their grumbling stomachs than on their faith in the One who provides in abundance.

They are me. I am the disciples. Short-sighted. Looking at the little. Forgetting about the "much"...ALL of the abundance He has shown us in the past, time and time again. I can almost hear Him, His voice tired, yet gentle, saying to me, "Don't you understand yet?"

God is so good at reminders. That is a Word that is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. And it reminded me of what I had been missing.


TheTeters! said...

Budgets can be fun :) If you think of it as a game in how far your money can go, you may enjoy being on a budget!!
We are currently in Financial Peace University (with Dave Ramsey ) and I've read his Total Money Makeover! Those are both good books to give you a better more positive attitude on budgetting :)
But, I do understand, sometimes I just want to go shopping...
Goodluck on your budget Coopers!!

Anonymous said...

Ooooo my goodness did God just speak to me through you! THANK YOU for your words!! Love you guys!