What a difficult concept for a financially comfortable person to comprehend!

As I let myself sink down to float on the ocean of God’s abundant love, my mind encounters thought after thought that causes my muscles to tense with fear and my body to stiffen so that the waters of God’s love can no longer hold me up.

“What if my husband doesn’t desire the same simplicity God invites me to? What if my choice to live more simply causes problems for my children? What if my choice eventually means they can’t go to college – or can’t go without incurring debt? What if our electrical system gives out – where will the money come to pay for it? What if I give more of my money to alleviate poverty, will I have enough to live on when I retire? What if …?”

Am I really that enslaved by fear? Can the power of fear really be stronger than the power of God’s love? 

Take a deep breath, Susanne. Nothing is more powerful than God’s love. Nothing. This is not a question of whether God’s love is powerful enough to cast out fear. Instead it is a question of whether I can release my fear to God.

The story of Frodo, the hobbit in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, comes to mind. (Warning: I am about to reveal how the story ends.) Frodo has come by a ring that gives its bearer incredible power, and of course all the bad guys want the power the ring will give its owner. Frodo knows he must destroy the ring and has been traveling for thousands of pages to get to Mount Doom, a volcano into which he must throw the ring to make sure it is permanently destroyed. Frodo has two companions on the way. One is his faithful friend Sam, who would do anything for Frodo, and indeed has to carry a weakening Frodo the last part of the way up Mount Doom. The other companion is a despicable critter called Gollum, who once owned the ring. Gollum is really only coming along in the hopes that he can get the ring back from Frodo. Frodo is disgusted by Gollum, but he also has compassion once he learns that Gollum used to be a nice little hobbit before his craving for the ring turned him into this disgusting creature. Frodo can relate to Gollum – he knows first-hand how powerfully seductive the ring is and how it weakens its bearer’s will.

On to the climactic ending of the story: As Frodo stands on the edge of the volcano with the ring, he can no longer resist its seductive power and puts it on instead of throwing it into Mount Doom. Gollum bites Frodo’s finger off to get the ring back, but then falls into the volcano holding the ring. The ring, and Gollum, are destroyed. Frodo and Sam go back home, but Frodo never recovers from the spiritual damage the ring did while he owned it and finally goes off to another land, hoping that he will be healed.

And now I will leave you wondering what the point of telling this story was and how it relates to abundance until my next blog entry. Until then,

Queries for prayerful consideration:

Who is most helpful in the ultimate destruction of the ring: the just and dutiful Frodo, loyal and loving Sam, or passionate and greedy Gollum? And what trait is most helpful in the destruction of the ring: justice, duty, loyalty, love, passion or greed?

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