Across the Pastor’s Desk: Seeing with eyes of abundance

Published 8:00 pm Friday, August 13, 2021

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Josh Enderson

This year has been a tough one for gardens. Between the heat and drought, many plants have struggled. But, despite this, August is the time when we start to see the fruits of our labor. In our part of the country, gardens begin to put forth produce in larger quantities than they have before. Tomatoes ripen, beans come in by the bucketful, and the zucchini — Let’s not even talk about the never-ending supply of zucchinis. I’ve heard of some who have a “keep-one-toss-one” policy on zucchinis, just to keep away the madness of being overwhelmed by them. August’s bounty is often one that gives us a sense of abundance.

Josh Enderson

This year’s tougher growing season has challenged this sense of abundance. Things may be producing, but not at the levels that we have seen before. If they are producing, it means that we had to water more than usual, which seems to balance out any sense of abundance that the garden seems to offer. Scarcity is easier to imagine this year, when water seems to be lacking.

And yet, the Bible always puts forth the idea that God is a God of abundance: from the manna in the wilderness, to Jesus feeding of the 5,000, to turning water into wine, to his death on the cross to give “grace upon grace.” Whenever someone seems to imply that the world is one of scarcity, God comes in and reminds them that there is more than enough. We just have to look at the world through the eyes of God, through the eyes of abundance and gratitude.

Because that’s one of the biggest differences between seeing the world as one of scarcity and abundance: gratitude. Being thankful for what God provides makes all the difference. When we come in from the garden with two tomatoes when we usually have 10, we can whine and complain. Or we can admire the beauty of them, enjoy their taste and thank God that we were able to grow this. The world (and our attitude, and probably the taste of the tomato!) will look different when we look at it through God’s eyes of abundance. Where do you struggle to see abundance in your life? Where might there be glimmers of hope in that situation? What might you be able to give thanks to God for in that situation, even if it is the smallest of things? You’d be surprised at how that might change things.

Joshua Enderson is a pastor at Hayward and Trondhjem Lutheran churches.