by Gail Heidtke
“I have learned in whatever state I am to be content…. …And God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:11-19
They say an optimist sees the glass have full, and the pessimist sees the same glass half empty. How do you view life?
My view of life has been influenced by a lot of people and experiences and places in my life. “I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.” I learned about contentment in the state of Montana.
It was in Montana that I met Art and Lucille, a lovely Norwegian couple who were part of the first congregation I served. They were in their 80s when I knew them. They introduced me to sharing coffee as the “third sacrament” of life. In Advent Lucille showed me how to roll krumkake, getting ready to share at Christmas. For Palm Sunday, Art brought in armfuls of pussy willows, great bushes and trees of pussy willows to deck the church, assuring me that pussy willows on Palm Sunday made sense if you lived in Montana or had come from Norway – no palm trees there. Art and Lucille had met up with the faithful Savior and the God of abundance. They lived a true and trustworthy life in humility and faith. In them I recognized what it is to live life in abundance, confident and content. I stood with Lucille on the windy plains when Art was buried. “Takk for alt” it said on his gravestone. Thanks for everything.
We can learn to live in contentment. We can share in abundance. God has promised to provide for our every need. God’s grace is sufficient, more than enough, abundant.
I’ve learned to see the glass of my life not half full or half empty, but rather full to the brim and overflowing. I’ve learned about God’s abundance.
When we share our gifts, when we give our offerings, we can do so with a sense of abundance, God’s abundance. We need not fear if there will be enough. In God’s goodness there is always enough.
There is always enough – for our lives, and for our gifts and offerings. Enough for our financial gifts for the ongoing work of the Women of the ELCA, for the support for the leadership of women in the church, in support of various ministries, programs, resources, outreach. We can trust that God will always provide. God is generous in giving, and we can be too.
The glass is full to the brim and overflowing with God’s abundant love. Takk for alt.
Generous God, open our hearts to receive your abundance. Open our lives to share it. For Jesus’ sake. Amen
The Rev. Gail Heidtke is a retired ELCA pastor living in Palatine, Illinois.