Carl has received more abundantly than any other dog we have ever had. He has been pampered with our attention and has had every one of his needs met. Instead of keeping him off the furniture, we have purchased coverings to go over our couch and a chair for him to lounge upon. He has at least five blankets that he uses for cuddling and dragging to different destinations around the house. He has a collar for walking, a collar to open up the doggy door, and a collar for calming. He is on a special diet of bison to keep his allergies at bay. And when I leave the house, he is given a frozen kong that we fill with a special tasty mixture.
Carl is not only blessed with things, but he is also blessed with relationships. The little boy that lives next door adores him and begs to have him come over to play. When my granddaughter comes over, she primarily wants to play with Carl. When adult friends come by, everyone wants to pet Carl on the head. But most importantly, when my husband sits down after a long day at work, Carl is given the opportunity to sit in his lap.
Most of the time, when we think of abundance, material things come to mind. The world values what people own and their abundance of wealth. But what if there was a different kind of abundance that has eternal worth? How could we obtain this eternal abundance? Let us consider that our Heavenly Father is the best of all givers and he loves to lavish us with more than just stuff.
God demonstrates this over and over again throughout the Bible. Let us focus on one event that illustrates how He doesn’t just provide but gives until it overflows. In John chapter 6, Jesus is confronted with a huge crowd. Some estimate up to 20,000 men, women, and children. He has taught them, nourished their souls, and now it appears that they want him to nourish their stomachs.
It is clear that his disciples would prefer for Jesus to send the crowds away but thankfully, our God cares about his flock. Jesus asks his disciples to take the fish and bread that a young boy has for his happy meal, gives thanks, and then distributes the food among the masses. Once everyone had more than enough, the remains were picked up. Even the leftovers were more than what was initially given out.
How often can we recognize how the leftovers are more than what we start with? I think back when my husband and I got married. We were just two. Now, I have been blessed with two daughters, two son in laws, and four grandchildren. Only God can multiply the blessings in our lives and give abundantly.
Just a few minutes ago, I dropped Carl off at my neighbor’s house. The second the little boy saw him, he came running up to Carl and got down on the floor with him and gave him a huge hug. As I watched this interaction, I couldn’t help but think about how God shows his compassion through breaking enough bread for all to eat or getting on the floor and giving us a hug.