Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Miracle of Multiplication

Daily Gratitude Year 5- Day 102: Today, I am grateful for the miracle of multiplication... when a little becomes enough.

This Holy Week continues. 

I have been slowly working my way through The Book of Mysteries. I am using some of the same techniques of highlighting and journaling that I use in my journaling Bible. It was written by a Messianic Jewish Rabbi and it really does hit a sweet spot for me. I love digging into the Hebrew and the Greek origins of God's word, but my lack of understanding of Jewish culture and tradition means there are elements of the wonder of God's Word that I miss. There are 365 entries... but I can't really swallow one a day. Sometimes, I have to let steep to get the full meaning. 

I find God's timing is always perfect, like today... and I get another math lesson.

Enough is my "one little word" for the year. I have been letting it steep, as well. God turns what we have into enough, if we let him. Today, the two paths I have been following converged. 

Cahn offers up this great challenge: "We need to stop living in the realm of 'not enough'. When we practice thanks in everything, we perform the act of multiplication."  It reminded me of a more modern day miracle from "The Hiding Place". 

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian,  hid Jewish people during Hitler's rule. Eventually, they were caught and sent to a concentration camp with those they had protected.  Corrie was able to take a Bible and vitamin drops with them, but when moved to their second concentration camp, they were supposed to take nothing. Her sister, Betsie, had a vitamin deficiency and she needed the vitamins and they all needed God's word to sustain them. 

Corrie hid the Bible and precious dark bottle of vitamins in her clothing. The guard hurried her instead of searching her through the processing queue. God protected His word... and  a wee bit of medicine for her sister Betsie who suffered from a vitamin deficiency. 

When they arrived at the second camp, the conditions were worse. She discovered 25 other women with the same vitamin deficiency issue as Betsie. She knew that if she hoarded the medicine for her sister, it might last a month. Instead, she knew God wanted her to share with the others. 

Night after night, the bottle provided a drop for each woman in need. I know Corrie and Betsie thanked God for every drop. Somehow, by His hand, the tiny bottle of drops were enough. Every time it multiplied, until a different bottle was taken by another prisoner from staff room. Corrie insisted on finishing that bottle. On that night... the tiny bottle from home finally gave it's last drop. A new source had been provided. Betsie remembered Zarephath.

"There was a woman in the Bible," said Betsie, "whose oil jar was never empty." She turned to the story in the book of 1st Kings. They read about the poor widow of Zarephath who had cared for Elijah. She continued to have oil in her jar and flour in her flour bin no matter how much she used. It was one thing to believe that such things happened thousands of years ago, but another thing to believe that it could happen today. And yet it happened. "Don't try to explain it." said Corrie to Betsie. "Just accept it as a surprise from a Father who loves you."  -"The Hiding Place", Corrie Ten Boom

Is this modern world of "not enough"... or "never enough"?  The desire for "the latest and greatest" is fueled by advertising and make-believe households seen on television.Constant messages about more, better... and still more, drive out our peace. Contentment comes in finding gratitude with what we have. Thanking God for his provision changes what we have into enough. 

Jesus modeled it. "He blessed" or "He gave thanks" before he multiplied 2 fish and 5 loaves to feed thousands. The night he knew Judas would betray him and Peter was on the verge of denying him three different times... this is what Jesus did:

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. -Matthew 26:26-28

On one of the hardest nights of his life, Jesus expressed gratitude. He spoke it before he broke it... the bread that is. And the wine, too. 

How many times do I cheat myself out of the joy that comes from savoring "the enough" before me?  Too many. In caring, sharing and trust, He multiplies what we have into enough... and often abundance. 

Corrie, Zarephath and Jesus are good examples if the miracle of multiplication... when what we have becomes enough, and so much more. God's math is not the world's way. It is better. 

Today, I am grateful for the miracle of multiplication... when a little becomes enough.

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