Years of Plenty

I was talking to a friend at work, and she asked if I had plans for the weekend.  I said I’m planning to sleep in on Saturday, because I was feeling a little under the weather.  “Oh, that’s nice,” she said.  Then she told me that her mother, who is on hospice, fell breaking her rib and puncturing her lung.  She had been at the hospital off and on with her mom for the last couple of days. Yet she still managed to make it to work every single day.  Her husband who was recently diagnosed with leukemia, was going to the hospital the next day for his chemo treatment.  He may have to spend the night. She also babysits her grandson every Saturday.

I felt so small.  So spoiled.  My life is a piece of cake compared to hers. It’s easy to forget about others’ sufferings when you’re not in the thick of it. It’s easy to be focused only on my easy life. I’m sleeping in tomorrow, because I have a cold. She has no chance for rest, even if she’s under the weather.

I often feel guilty knowing that life is good for me right now. My husband and I are both employed. We’re healthy. We’re saving for retirement. We have a beautiful home.  We attend a great church.  Our life is quiet and chaos-free. Life is good. The troubles that pop up in my life right now are pretty trivial compared to what I know others are facing.  I have to remind myself that I have nothing to complain about.  Really.

In a previous post, I mentioned a period in our lives that was very difficult.  We have recovered and life has moved on in a good way.  Reality tells me that we will most likely face difficulties at some point in the future.  We just don’t know when or what it will be.

But. Right. Now. Life. Is. Good.  And that’s a good thing.

It’s hard to need God when you don’t need anything.

One thing I do know is that I still need God in the good times.  It’s easy to get distracted from needing God when things are going good.  After all, I pride myself on being self-sufficient.  When life is tough, I cry out to God for strength.  When life is good, I think I can handle everything on my own.

In Genesis 41, Pharaoh had a couple of disturbing dreams.  God spoke through Joseph to interpret those dreams.  The land of Egypt would have seven years of plenty and then seven years of famine.  In the years of plenty, they were to prepare for the famine.  Joseph created a plan  to prepare for the upcoming hard times.  When I read Genesis 41:47-49, I see words that speak to me about preparing for my years of famine.

In years of abundance:  Gather.  Store the excess.  Preserve.  Reserve.

I can use these same steps during my years of plenty to prepare for times of need.  I have to intentionally stay focused on keeping my relationship with God a priority.  I need to study His Word to show myself approved.  I need to take time to slow down and listen to Him speak to me.   I realize I need God more than ever in the good times.  During the good times, my relationship with God has to be my first priority.

I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3, where we’re told there is a time for everything.  A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance. During this time of laughter and dancing, I need to focus on filling my cup with God’s word each day. When those days of weeping and mourning come, and they will come, I can reach into my cup overflowing with God’s love and mercy to scoop out the portion I need for that day.  Now is the time to fill my cup, keep an undivided heart and focus on my first love.




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