The hungry man sits down to a modest meal of lentil stew and a piece of bread. It will be enough to satisfy his hunger pains, but not enough to fill him up. As he begins to eat, a rich man passes by his table. He reminds him in sage-like voice to remember to put some of his food aside for leaner times. It is good stewardship, says the rich man, and goes on to expound on scripture passages that address the management of one’s bounty. Then, smiles the man, next time you won’t be quite so hungry.
The poor man drops his eyes to the bowl. “There is only just enough as is. How can I save it?”
The rich man shakes his head and privately wonders how the poor man is squandering his food that he never feels he has enough. He nearly smiles at the thought of his own table, full of bounty, and how he is always able to not only seal up the leftovers for later, but to give food away as well. “I am glad I am not like this man, who is not wise and prudent with his earnings”, he says to himself as he walks away.
The poor man finishes his meal and gives his thanks to the Father. In his whispered prayer, he asks God if it is his fault that he is hungry, if it is his fault that he doesn’t have a bounty, but only just enough? He knows by the ache in his back and his throbbing feet that he works hard for the little he has, but no excess rains down upon him for that. Daily bread, not bread for a host of tomorrows.
The counsel of the rich man weighs across his shoulders. His back aches more fiercely yet. He pushes back from the table and swipes errant tears from his weathered face. How disappointed God must be in him, and how God must smile on the rich man who does all well and is richly rewarded for it.
As he walks to his home, God says it quiet in his heart, right where the pain is, “You are not a disappointment to Me. Continue to trust; I am worthy of your trust.”
The poor man smiles past his tears.
Hospital bills looming, our tenant two months behind on rent, school bills, school taxes due, and the waves rise and rise above our heads. My husband’s hours cut back at work.
I read it today; Psalm 16:5,
LORD, You are my portion and my cup of blessing;
You hold my future.
Even if it means crying in the shower so the children can’t hear and seeing my husband’s brow knot in worry as he carries the bills up to his desk, can I not yet say that He holds us? That each day we eat and each day we enjoy our home and are clothed? Can I not yet praise Him for daily bread, daily mercies, daily faithfulness?
Yes. Because He is my portion and my cup of blessing. He holds my future.