At the Friends of Jesus Fellowship Fall Gathering, we were asked to share a simple word or phrase that expressed our vision of what abundant life looks like.
For me, the phrase was just-in-time delivery.
This is a concept from the business world. It’s the idea that the most efficient system is one in which all resources are delivered shortly before they are to be used. An example of this would be an auto factory that received all the parts it needed the day the vehicle was to be assembled. The factory wouldn’t stockpile wheels, axles, and lug nuts for next week or next month’s production. Instead, it would rely on suppliers to deliver those items the day of.
Why did I choose this random business concept as my definition of the good life?
It all goes back to the desert. In the Sinai wilderness, after Moses and the Hebrews had escaped from Egyptian slavery, they were totally reliant on God. They had no idea how to survive in the desert, far away from the carefully irrigated Nile Delta where they had lived for centuries.
Once they got over the shock of escaping certain death at the hands of Pharaoh’s army, the Hebrews were assailed by doubts. What have we done? Where have you taken us Moses? Did you bring us out into the desert so that we could die of starvation?
Moses and his compatriots were about to discover a way of life that was in many ways more uncomfortable than Egyptian bondage. Sure, in Egypt they were abused and oppressed – but at least they knew where dinner was coming from. If there was one thing the Egyptians were good at, it was stockpiling food.
There were no such reassuring granaries in the desert where Moses had led them. They were defenseless. They had nothing to rely on for survival but the daily mercy of God. They were dependent on just-in-time delivery of food from the sky, a substance so mysterious that they called it manna, which means What’s that?
This is exactly where the Hebrew people needed to be: Rooted in reality. Freed from the false security of stockpiles, military might, and economic oppression. Everything now depending on God’s daily providence.
This is where I need to be, too. When asked what abundant life looks like for me, I said just-in-time delivery. I might just as easily have said manna. It’s this life of dependence on God, trusting him to provide the next step, the next meal, the way home – this is where I find true abundance.
Rather than living slavery to accumulation and self-protection, I’m invited to trust deeply, release control, and see life as it really is.
Have you experienced this kind of desert abundance? When are times in your life when you were forced to rely completely on God for the resources you needed – material, spiritual, or emotional? What would it be like to remain in this desert journey, embracing the just-in-time delivery of the Holy Spirit? Who might you meet along the way?