We just returned from spending a long relaxing weekend on the beach in Florida with some friends, and like most experiences being in the midst of nature – in this case the ocean and seashore – I found myself both fascinated and inspired. What struck me this time was the enormous abundance and endurance of nature – in spite of mankind’s invasion of it and the pollution we seem to impose on it, and even with man’s ongoing attempts to capture and control many of nature’s resources, yet it endures, continuing to abundantly provide. As with all of nature the sea and its shore were here long before any of us and will remain long after we are gone. It was, after all, created first, before mankind was created.
Jesus once said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) What could He have meant by that? According to one devotional writer I read recently, “Jesus is reminding his hearers again that God did not make a world of scarcity. We were not given a life to then spend it in white-knuckled survival.” White-knuckled! What a vivid image of how many of us live, me especially, but why? One answer might be that we have been fooled into believing that true security depends on our capturing and controlling all the resources we can get our hands on, instead of having faith in the creator of nature and the endless resources He provides. God did not make a world of scarcity, rather a world of abundance.
So after sitting on the beach for a long while staring at the endless expanse of sea and sky my eyes were slowly drawn back to the shore where the seagulls and sandpipers were busily scavenging for food along the edge of the surf. They did not appear to be white-knuckled about their survival, nor were they starving or deprived in any way. Neither did I notice them hoarding away their gatherings in some hiding place so that they might be insured of having more tomorrow and thus feel more secure. Rather they seemed perfectly content to rely on nature’s provisions day in and day out.
God did not make a world of scarcity. A long relaxing weekend on the beach helped me be reminded of that. Instead, God made a world of endless and enduring abundance.