There is Still Room
For many of us, summer is a wonderful time for slowing down, savoring the longer days, and enjoying a relaxed ministry schedule. For others, summer is a busy season of navigating multiple opportunities for family, creative, and recreational activities. If you happen to have some extra time for reflection right now, I encourage you to make space to think about hospitality and generosity and to let that sit in your soul for as long as necessary.
The verse chosen for our second year of Belong is this: “There is still room” (Luke 14:22). This simple statement infers a desire to fill an empty space.
In response to this declaration, I find myself asking a variety of questions: Do I have room in my schedule and in my heart? Do I have a desire to extend hospitality and generosity toward others? If not, why not? Am I overscheduled? Is there something I need to stop doing in order to create space for obedience to God’s next prompting? Have I adopted a “poverty mentality” that causes me to believe I must guard and hoard precious resources such as time and agency?
Perhaps these next few weeks will provide opportunity for you to consider these same questions.
Scripture is full of imagery of abundance. The story begins with a generous and creative God filling a space that was “empty and void” with a delightful variety of plants, animals, and sources of light and life. I read commands such as, “Enlarge the place of your tent . . . do not hold back” (Isa. 54:2) and “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (Ps. 81:10). I read promises such as, “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Cor. 9:10) and “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).
Do I believe it? Do I trust my generous and good Father to provide all that I need, even to an overflow for others? Will I believe that God is willing to do what He did for the widow of Zarephath in Elijah’s day when “the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry” even during famine (1 Kings 17:16)? Will I, like Jesus, receive and respond to the commission to go to other towns, to unfamiliar places, to people who have not yet seen or heard the good news of the Kingdom (see Luke 4:43–44)?
These reflections are worthy of my time and my response. For this season, I will allow my Good Shepherd to lead me to green pastures and quiet waters to refresh my soul. Then, when it is time for me to get up and be guided along the right paths for His name’s sake (see Ps. 23:2–3), I will be one who is welcoming in my demeanor and generous in my spirit.
There is still room—for His glory and the good of others. Amen.
Do I trust my generous and good Father to provide all that I need, even to an overflow for others?
Wow! this is a very good question my dear Jen. Thanks for encouraging us to think about others! Our agendas are full, but shouldn’t be so full to forget our neighbors.
May God bless your contemplations, Vivi. Thank you for your leadership!
Thanks Jen very good thoughts to mull over and put into action. Thanks for writing this article.
Thank you Jen; a much needed word!
Robbin – Praying that God will enable you to the make room for those that need your extra time these days. Thinking of you.
My pleasure, Ellen. I trust that God will reveal areas in each of our lives where we can make room for others.
Thank you, Jen, for sharing this! It is timely in my life right now & God has used you to encourage me to step out & trust Him more! ?
Thank you Jen, may there always be more room in my heart for hospitality, giving and sharing with others what God has blessed us with. Appreciate your sharing! His abundance never runs out! I am reading the story of George Muller, such an example of trusting, giving, sharing, all God gave to him.
I agree. Like you, I find great inspiration from reading biographies of those who placed their trust in our faithful God.
Thank you, Jen, for these words. I’m at the point in my church ministry that I’m appreciating the value of using my gifts in hospitality to make room for others rather than pouring all my effort into programs. Good thoughts!
Thank you, Terri, for your leadership. I celebrate your growth in learning how to extend hospitality, stewarding your energies well by making room for others.