There’s a story of a family who was immigrating from Europe to the US, and they saved and saved and saved their money, and they were going to take a cruise ship from Europe to the US for the immigration. In addition to saving their money, they brought a lot of snacks and food with them on the cruise ship. They brought cheese and crackers and things they knew could sustain them on the cruise.
Every night they would hear people going to the dining hall and celebrating and being excited. The family was kind of discouraged: “We don’t have money to go to the dining hall, so we’re just going to keep eating our cheese and crackers.” Until the last night, the father said, “You know what? We are going to the US tomorrow. Let’s celebrate by going and eating like everybody else.”
They got to the dining hall and began to eat, and he asked the maître d’, “So how much do I owe you for the food?” He answered, “Well, the food is free. It’s included. It’s part of the cruise.” The family had been denying themselves and eating only cheese and crackers the entire time throughout the cruise when the food was always available and already paid for.
I wonder how many times with God we have everything we need available to us but choose to eat our cheese and crackers because we don’t open our eyes and recognize what God has already provided?
In 2 Corinthians, chapter 9 and verse 8, it says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” So God is able to make all grace abound to you, that in all things, at all times, having all that you need. How many times do we try and go out and do things on our own without asking God to guide us or to help us? And He’s equipped us for everything that we need, He’s given us everything that we need to do and achieve the dreams that He’s given to us, and yet we’re trying to do it by ourselves. We’re trying to eat the cheese and crackers, and God has laid out a buffet. He has laid out an entire meal–all we have to do is show up ready to eat!
What’s interesting is how scripture is always in context. If you back up just to verse six, it says, “Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Then it says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
When I spend my life completely closed up and looking at the lack of everything, and I am thinking about the things I don’t have, I live a life of cheese and crackers.
But when I open my hand in generosity and look at everything that I have as an opportunity to engage in God’s process and God’s giving and do it with a joyful heart, it changes everything. When I can engage in that, I recognize the buffet God has laid out before me. Because when I have a heart of generosity, I see the situation others are in, but I also see the situation that I’m in. I’m seeing the blessings that I’m surrounded by.
Where in your life are you living on cheese and crackers when what you need to do is open your eyes and recognize that God has laid out a buffet all along? How can we begin to believe that we’ve already got access to everything we need and everything that we could require to achieve what He’s called us to?
We’re living this life that we think is good, and we’re at a point where life is good, things are good. We’re so caught up in ourselves that we’re not allowing ourselves to be transformed by God. When we know that He has more for us, and He wants us to be engaged in more, and He wants us to do more, we begin to experience our own spiritual transformation. That’s why I ask us to come together every day to see and taste this buffet that God has laid out before each of us.
So where today can you be transformed and looking up? God has given us everything we need. We just have to trust Him enough to put down our cheese and crackers and show up at His divine buffet.