I have an abundance. I was overwhelmed by this fact when two things happened: I continued my slow progression through The Hole In The Gospel and read about the plight of the millions without access to water and wondered what my world would look like if every time I needed water I had to hike five miles one way to carry two buckets at a time back to the house; and, when I read numerous comments from Lysa Terkeurst’s blog today where she asked women to post their prayer requests so she could pray for the Lord lay across their hearts and make them still.
A word kept circling in my brain: plenitude. It settled in my bones. It’s not a word that I use frequently so I looked it up to understand why I couldn’t shake it from my soul.
Plenitude is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1: the quality or state of being full : completeness
2: a great sufficiency : abundance
Synonyms include: abundance, affluence, avalanche, bounteousness, bountifulness, capacity, copiousness, cornucopia, deluge, enough, flood, fruitfulness, full house, fund, good deal, great deal, heaps, loads, lots, luxury, mass, masses, mine, mountains, oodles, opulence, peck, piles, plenteousness, plethora, profusion, prosperity, quantity, stacks, store, sufficiency, torrent, volume, wealth
These words create mind pictures in my head that illustrate the true condition of my life. Despite my personal struggles day to day, I am in “a state of being full.” I have an “abundance.” My challenges are so inconsequential compared to the woman who wrote about her husband leaving her for another woman, or the woman who posted her home was in foreclosure and any day she will be homeless with her two sons who are old enough to remember this happening, or the woman I read about in Africa who is caring for her numerous grandchildren on less than a dollar a day because her family was decimated by AIDS.
Growing up, my parents used to tell me during challenging financial times that no matter our situation we were blessed compared to many others. But I realize more and more it isn’t just the money. It is the security and safety. It is the love. It is the family and friends and housing and opportunities. It is plenitude. I do not deserve it. But I will stop to take the time to be grateful for it. And to try to find opportunities to share with those without an abundance today.
No matter your challenge, stop for a moment to say grace over your plenitude.
Philippians 4 – I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.