I like words. I get a daily email of new words to learn. Many I know. A few I do not. Some are pretty out there and I would never have an occasion to utter them. Today's word was "ullage - the amount by which the contents fall short of filling a container, as a cask or bottle." I got to thinking.
Why do I seem to always worry about ullage? (Like that, I used it in a sentence. Mrs. Garling would be proud?!) Why, as a Jesus follower, do I insist on focusing on what's missing? Here is what I find when I check in with him.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Jesus is giving Godly advice in this passage and the ones around it. Basically, ullage wasn't even in his plans. Maybe spill clean up needs a scripture but ullage does not. Ullage becomes an issue when I stop giving. I stop giving when I worry about scarcity. But God is a God of abundance. Okay, I'll hoard. I'll insure I have no ullage!
Jesus told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."' "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God." Luke 12:16-21 (NIV)
The LORD said to Moses, "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.'"
That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, "It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.'"
The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning."
However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. Exodus 16:12-20 (NIV)
Yuck! Okay, I get it! Give! Hoarding and ullage are signs of a lack of faith and just plain do not work.
May you appreciate the Gifts of God today and may you give them freely. Know no ullage.