Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Philippians 4:10-19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Acknowledgment of the Philippians’ Gift
10 I rejoice[a] in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it.[b] 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.
15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
How much is enough? When asked that question, John D. Rockefeller answered, “just a little bit more.” At the peak of his wealth, Rockefeller had a net worth of about 1% of the entire US economy. He owned 90% of all the oil & gas industry of his time. Yet he still wanted “just a little bit more.”
How much is enough? Vicki Robbins wrote about sitting at dinner with a man at a conference on alternative economics. He told a story about his own struggle to discover just how much was enough for him.
From time to time, he goes to a rural monastery for a silent retreat. Meals are provided by the monks. The many acres of wooded land are laced with walking trails. There are several small sanctuaries with just a chair or two. Each room has a bed, a desk, a chair, a lamp and no more. The atmosphere is one of silence and peace. On one retreat he asked himself, “If I knew that everyone in the world would have enough if I had only this much, would this be enough for me?” The answer was a clear “Yes.”
While everyone sitting at the table at that dinner could identify with the simplicity of that vision, they went on to discuss what things they might add to support not only their spiritual nature but their work and sense of community as well.
A telephone. Certain books. Certain files. Another chair for a guest. A computer, perhaps. The more they added—she recounted later—the more difficult it was to draw the line. Where did necessity end and excess begin? [Vicki Robin, “How Much Is Enough,” In Context, Summer 1990, 62]
The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster