More or Less?
God expects more of you than you think; God expects less of you than you think. This paradox was presented to me years ago, and I was struck by its ramifications. Now that I have experienced more of life, I can see that certain happenings were examples of the truth of both these thought-provoking concepts.
More and Less
For many years Psalm 84:11 has been my mainstay: “He will withhold no good thing…” When things went badly, I reminded myself that this was His best. I began to realize that it was my duty to be willing to give more, but also be accepting when it was less, giving God the glory.
God expected more from me when my husband and I were missionaries. Our support was low, requiring very frugal living. The organization took 10% of our monthly checks to support headquarter expenses. I thought, “Well, that is our tithe.” No, God expected us to tithe the amount we received!
It is easy to lose touch with friends and siblings especially when they make no effort to contact us. I could have concluded that they did not want to hear from me, so I did not have to make the effort. God wanted more. I continue over the years to send birthday cards and email people who don’t seem to care what is going on in our lives.
Another area that God has required more of me than I thought was in spending time with foster grandsons. Our son is a foster father, and I have elected to spend time each evening teaching the boys from the Bible and reading edifying books. The current boys do not behave while I am with them and complain about what I read. I am tempted to quit, but God expects more of me. So I continue, praying I will see some results.
God has comforted me many times by showing me He expects less of me. Since we give to a number of parachurch organizations, our mailbox is always full of appeals for more money. I wish I could give and felt bad when I couldn’t until I heard a preacher say that God is pleased by a desire to give.
I was asked to teach a neighborhood Bible study. It continued for six months and one lady was amazed that it lasted that long. I wanted it to last longer, but God did not expect that of me. One summer, I spent a lot of time with two little neighborhood girls, taking them to VBS, the park and teaching them God’s Word in my home. I anticipated doing it each summer. However, the parents stopped communicating with me and I had to accept the fact that God expected less of me in this area.
“Dear Lord, help me to truly believe that you give me only good, whether it is more or less than I think.”
Photo Credit: Alice Hull. Alice (Fasold ’63) Hull married David Hull ’63 in 1962. They have four children, nine grandchildren (two by adoption) and five great-grandchildren. The Hulls currently reside in Tennessee where they substitute teach in area schools.
Highlander Devotionals are contributed by members of the broader Houghton community, including our worldwide alumni family. These reflections are a testament to the continued, transforming work of Jesus Christ in the lives of alumni and others who have called Houghton “home.”