In need or in plenty


I heaved my over flowing shopping cart through the last few aisles at the grocery store, with most everyone who lived in the city keeping me company. With two days before Thanksgiving Wal-mart employees scurried around, like mice on a cheese high, restocking the Martinelli’s, the towers of cranberry sauce, and those crunchy onion things that everyone puts on their green bean casserole. I chuckled at the fact that for most of us, our carts were full with the same things to make the same dishes.

Except one family.

There were three of them – mom, dad and older teen daughter. Their cart contained only a handful of items. When mom asked about purchasing something, the dad replied gruffly to just tell him how much it was.

I confess my first thought was that he probably just had enough of grocery shopping and wanted to bah-humbug his way out of there.

Until I saw the calculator in his hand.

When she told him the price, he replied that it could wait. And then she said, what about bread? We have to get bread.

And my heart sunk. I grieved for that family and wondered what Thanksgiving would be like for them.

My mind raced trying to find a way to help, but I had no cash on me and no ideas. I looked for them at the check stand hoping I could slip them a gift card, but they were gone.

There in the middle of mounding carts of plenty, was one cart in need of filling, but no means. Maybe that’s you today.

But need is not always material things. It can be need for the mending of a broken heart, or healing from an illness, the repair of a damaged relationship, or the loss of a loved one. Those needs can’t be filled by a trip to Wal-mart.

God alone meets those needs.

For me, my cart is full but my heart is in need. But I am confident that the same God who provides my daily bread, also heals the longings in my heart. And for this, I give thanks. No matter what my situation.

Are you empty or full today? Give thanks to God.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12




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