I’m not sure that I’ve eaten more than a handful of my own meals actually on my own in over ten years.
I know maybe it’s not the absolute truth.
But it feels like the truth some days.
It’s as if whatever food I’m eating is a free-for-all for my children.
Sometimes I grab breakfast out of the cabinet and carry it to the minivan as we rush out the door. The very second I open the cereal bar, an alarm system must be triggered because children in all corners of the vehicle ask if they can have some.
Perhaps I should be grateful. Thank you, dear children, I did not actually need the calories from this breakfast-on-the-go anyway.
But there is something so illogical about this mothering phenomenon.
As soon as my children graduate from pureed squash in a jar to their very own mini-portions of actual human food, they want to have what I am eating from my very own plate.
Even though we are eating the same food.
The same food!!!!
I may have had to cut it up into non-chokeable portions before putting it on a highchair tray; nevertheless, my lasagna did taste the same as their lasagna.
And the Cheerios in my cereal bowl are (earth-shattering announcement, here) the same Cheerios in my child’s bowl.
I know older moms are probably chuckling. Surely my own mom is. Because this is probably a universal mothering struggle going back generations upon generations.
Let’s face it, Eve should have gotten used to sharing her fruit with another person because once Cain and Abel came along, she’d never eat completely on her own again.
The thing is, my kids are buying into the same lie that trips us up all the time.
It’s the lie that whatever she has is better than what I have.
Maybe we’re even eating the same food.
Or maybe it really is different. Maybe she’s sitting down to steak and potatoes while we pick at boxed macaroni and cheese. Or maybe we’re the ones with the gourmet fare while she wolfs down some PB&J.
No matter what the dish, so often we just really want what she has.
We want the same. And we want it to be the same quality. And we want it to be the same amount.
We don’t trust God to care for us uniquely, personally, individually. We don’t trust Him enough to accept what He gives with gratitude, knowing that He loves us and cares for us, knowing that anything He gives us is far more than we deserve or merit.
I read in Numbers how Moses divied up supplies to the people of Israel.
He gave two carts and four oxen to the sons of Gershon.
He gave four carts and eight oxen to the sons of Merari.
He didn’t give any carts or oxen to the sons of Kohath.
Sounds like a rip-off. Sounds like a big, unfair, scam.
Those sons of Kohath could have raised a mighty fine protest about injustice and favoritism and the need for equal distribution of all goods.
But Moses gave out the oxen and the carts “according to their service,” and the sons of Kohath cared for “the holy objects, which they carried on the shoulder” (Numbers 7:7-9).
Every one of them received what they needed for their particular, God-chosen, unique job. He equipped them for their calling.
He does the same for us.
Some days, I’ll confess, it feels like I don’t have enough.
I don’t just mean material goods. I mean enough patience or enough time or enough patience or enough creativity or enough patience or enough sleep—or enough patience. Did I already mention that one?
So many others around me seem to have plates heaped full with the very gifts and traits I feel so desperately in need of.
But I take my need to Him.
Because I don’t need any thing. I don’t need a specific gifting or a particular object.
I don’t need to be the same or have the same as anyone else.
I NEED JESUS. HE IS ENOUGH FOR ME.
HE EQUIPS US FOR OUR CALLING.
YES, HE GIVES ME ALL I NEED TO DO WHAT HE WANTS ME TO DO RIGHT HERE IN THIS MOMENT.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:24 NIV)
LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure (Psalm 16:5 NIV)
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26 NIV).
You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words (Psalm 119:57).
Originally published March 25, 2015