This past season has been one in which God has been unveiling a lot uncomfortable things about myself that I thought I had dealt with a long time ago, or didn’t know was an issue. Like, I have a competitive side. I was surprised that I had one because I do not like being aggressive or making people feel left out. Don’t get me wrong, I believe healthy competition is a good thing. It pushes us to work harder, honing in on our own unique giftings and talents while raising the expectations we have on ourselves, but competition paired with a poverty mentality lies a real problem.
Anytime I feel anxious about wanting to do well, get the job, get ahead, do it first, better, etc., I’ve learned that I am questioning God as a provider because I am putting my hope in the outcome, rather than trusting He is in charge of my life. This has led to me thinking that I wasn’t enough and that I couldn’t receive favor unless I worked twice as hard as everyone else. That way of thinking gave way to comparison and fear; and once you start partnering with those lies it quickly goes downhill from there.
The holidays were especially hard this past year and I just wanted a little something to cheer me up, so my my heart yearned for a Christmas tree. It didn’t make sense to get one because we were moving and decorating anything wouldn’t make any sense, but I desired one so badly. I went to a Christmas party close to Christmas day and they were playing a gift exchange game.
One of the gifts up for grabs was a 3 foot handmade wooden Christmas tree and we played by choosing and stealing each others gifts. Through the laughter and merriment I had my eye on that tree. For the purpose of the game, a gift can only be stolen three times before it was off the table and the last person who stole it would get to take it home. I was randomly selected last to pick a gift, it was a popular item so i knew my chances were slim for going home with the three. Once the tree had been stolen a second time I held my breath, “Guess no tree for me”, I thought.
Just then my friend sitting next to me whispered, “Debora, take my number”.
“What?”, I responded.
“Yeah, I know how much you want a tree. You can take my spot”, she replied with a smile.
Right on cue, her turn was next and I was able to cheerfully claim the tree. But I couldn’t help feeling guilty for my other two friends who had wanted it as well. Driving home, I wrestled with my emotions of joy and guilt. The next day came with a great surprise as I gathered with those same friends again. The couple who had made the tree decided to make two more handmade wooden Christmas trees and brought them as surprise gifts for the other two friends who wanted it during the game.
In that moment I felt God speaking through the Holy Spirit in my heart, “Debora, do you honestly think if I provide for one of you, I can’t provide for all of you?”
Someone who suffers with a poverty mentality is partnering with the lie that life with God is limited instead of limitless. That it’s win or lose high stakes circumstances, instead of a bottomless well of opportunity and favor. At first I felt ashamed at the realization that I still had to deal with this issue, but one of the many reasons I love God is that whenever He exposes a weakness, He does so with the purpose to heal it with his truth and love.
Let’s quickly take the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham followed orders to take Isaac up on a mountain to be sacrificed. He didn’t know what God had in mind. He acted underneath God’s instructions and not only was his son spared, but God provided a ram to take his place. Abraham named that place one of God’s many names. Jehovah Jireh /Yahweh Yireh literally means “The Lord Will Provide”.
God sees who you are right now and loves you just the way you are. But He also loves you too much to leave you the way you are; which is why often times He exposes light to the dark and forgotten parts of our hearts. His love is unconditional; simultaneously loving who we are and all that we can be. God is the author of your life after all, He knows your beginning and your end and His plans are always good.
Which is why God is not going to allow you to go without. It would be outside of who He is if He did. So, whenever we think “there isn’t enough or “I’m going to go without”, we actually picture our future without any hope in it (without God in it). Partner with an abundance way of thinking, because the Lord is eager to give you what you need as you choose to press into His presence during any time of doubt and worry. Watch and see how He is the only one who truly delivers in perfect timing.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” Romans 15:13