Brilliant thoughts happen in the shower and I had one earlier today. As I was enjoying my steaming retreat I heard someone else in the shower room next to mine. No! I thought, God, give me all the hot water, please! I had been determined to have a hot shower today. I woke up early to make sure no one else would be showering, but my plan failed. Then in my little puddle of self-pity, this thought crept into my mind: how very selfish to ask for hot water only for yourself.
It made me think for a while about how I perceive lack and also how I perceive resources. In the world we can tend to view our resources in terms of what we lack or in what others could take from us—like the person in the other shower took my hot water. The hot water heater when asked to produce so much can only produce a deficit. If we see the Kingdom like this we will continually pray prayers like I prayed this morning, prayers of selfishness. We will become jealous when others have abundance. We think they have somehow taken what could have been ours.
As someone who daily depends on the generosity of other, I must continually guard my heart against the temptation to covet the abundance of my neighbor. Is it not funny how we can curse in our hearts the good things that God is doing in the lives of people around us? Truly this is not God’s desire—if He is blessing them certainly His desire is not to curse them. The problem is our failure to see that someone’s blessing does not take away our blessing. Rumor has it God has enough to go around, He has enough to give everyone overflowing hot water.
“And God is able to bless you abundantly,
so that in all things at all times, having all that you need,
you will abound in every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8
If we believe this for ourselves we must also believe this for each person made in His image (that is everyone!). Paul is not writing to one individual in this verse, he is writing to a whole community; the “you” is plural. It could just as easily say, “God is able to bless all of you abundantly.” Jesus also teaches His disciples this when they ask how to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Jesus did not teach the disciples to pray selfishly, but inclusively.
I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to pray prayers of abounding blessings for yourself and for everyone. Walk in gratitude not just for your own blessings, but for the blessings others are receiving around you. Retire the selfish prayer because God loves to shower (pun intended) His blessings out on His creation.
Hope you are having a marvelous day!
By: Athena Nuessmeier
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