From Sydney MacNaughton
In the thick of making Boston my new home, I have experienced periods of loneliness. I am on a brand new coast* with many acquaintances but few friends. Sometimes I feel like just one more number in the single-people-in-Boston-who-works-a-lot category. Whether in time or friends or money, I have declared in groaning prayer, “This is not a season of abundance. This is not a season where I have much to give and I don’t know when I’ll feel satisfied.”
These passages are on the flipside of my feelings. Psalm 65 speaks of a different kind of abundance (think: overflowing pastures, hills girded with joy**, and valleys decked out with grain). But what really stood out to me was one little verse: “We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house."
Satisfied with the goodness of being a part of God’s house... Satisfied in Him.
The widow in Luke 21 must have trusted that every single bit of satisfaction could be found in Jesus if she gave everything that she had in one single moment. Others around her contributed something in their abundance, but she, in her poverty, gave everything away.
That’s a move I haven’t made yet.
A wise person in my life once encouraged me with these words: when I felt like I had little or nothing to give, that is when I should serve. Whether in calling a peer I know is bearing a burden of stress, supporting a missionary financially instead of going out to eat***, or bringing a dessert to church on Sundays, giving from what little I have has helped me to step out of myself and say, “I am satisfied in You. You have given to me in abundance and I am happy to give."
Psalm 66 states, “You laid a crushing burden on our backs… yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance… God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer."
The burden of school, clinic, work, and attempting to feed myself and shower daily in a new city can feel like a weight on my back that’s heavier than just textbooks and to-do lists. But He not only listens but He attends to the groan of my prayer. He brings me out to a place of abundance and satisfaction, where I can freely give.
That is something to sing about.
*Actually, this coast is quite old. I’m the newbie.
**How does one gird a field with joy? All I can imagine is Julie Andrews singing on an Alp.
***Thai food is my love language and this is a profound loss.
I am a first year grad student working hard to make Boston into home. I am coffee obsessed and casually dressed (thanks to my West Coast roots). Puns are fun and it’s always rhyme time.