How much of God’s love is enough: enough to not worry, enough to live freely, enough to share with the world what God gives us? How much is enough? However we would quantify it, l venture to guess that, in our minds at least, what we have from God is, for whatever our reasons, not enough.
If we think this, we’re not alone.
Truth be told, we all think this at one time or another.
Those gathered at Jesus’ feet were hungry. They’d been following Jesus all day long, and now, at day’s end, were exhausted and famished. The disciples could see this as they scanned the crowds. Send them away, Jesus; we barely have enough for the twelve of us – and you. There’s absolutely no way that we can feed even a tenth of the crowd. We don’t have enough for that – enough food or money.
Another time, the disciples are with Jesus in a boat, and a storm arises. Get up, Jesus! Don’t you care that we’re perishing? The disciples didn’t have enough patience, imagination, or hope.
Yet another time, a few of his disciples take him aside and say, Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask. We want to sit, one on your right and one on your left, in glory. In this moment, the disciples display a fear that there’s just not enough power to go around.
In these and so many other examples, those who first followed Jesus put on full display that while they hear the good news that Jesus brings, they don’t always fully understand it. The more they want, the less they understand how the grace of God takes root and grows in their midst.
They want to understand, of course. So much in their lives, though, runs counter to the way that God does in their lives. In our world, shattered as it is, there are limits and empty promises. There is hunger and thirst aplenty, and not just from those who have no money, no home, no job. Even though they don’t realize it, the disciples, too, are hungry and thirsty.
They don’t realize this, of course, until Jesus comes on the scene, or at least they can’t give voice to the unsettling that happens within them. When Jesus unleashes grace among them, they can’t get enough. They think there is a limit to grace, and so they want to keep it for themselves. We can give some to others once our needs are met, they seem to say.
Here, though, is the thing about the grace that Jesus brings: it never runs out. God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing are abundant – unconditional and free! We need not keep it for ourselves, because Jesus sees to it that we will never, ever run out. Even when it appears that our tank is near empty, we will never know a time where there isn’t enough, because we belong to Jesus, and Jesus isn’t going to let us go away empty.
There is enough – and more than enough – grace to go around! – Pastor Lutter