How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light. (Psalm 36:7-9, ESV)
In his magnificent book on discipleship, The Divine Conspiracy, the late Dallas Willard identifies two aspects of spiritual growth for Christ's followers. We must take time to gaze on the reality of God as described in Scripture. The light of God's reality must be allowed to shed light on the reality of our fallen and finite humanity.
God is power. I am weak. I'm weak by comparison to God, as I'm created by Him. I'm also weakened by the "sin which clings so closely." Instead of the a permanent and hostile gulf between God and I, Jesus has "killed the hostility." He has brought us near to God by grace through faith.
Today, on the fifth day of Christmas, we consider the indescribable and immeasurable wealth of God. God's abundance is not only in His possessions (though it certainly includes nothing less than the universe!) but in His person.
He is abundant. Again, the Psalmist celebrates this truth:
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust. (Psalm 104:28-29, ESV)
The generous hand of God is provision for man, who is otherwise empty and resolute. Moreover, God's attention is like thawing the frozen tundra of an alpine meadow. With it, we come to life! God's power and abundance is closely linked.
When the rich man asked about what was needed to secure eternal life, Jesus pointed out how poor he was and how rich God was. Jesus looked at him with love and told him that despite his many possessions he lacked the true value found in haven's treasure. It wasn't apparent to the young man that heaven's treasure stood before him in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
Thankfully Jesus points out the painful truth with love. From our impoverished place, we are thankful for the endless supply of grace in Jesus:
"God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19, ESV)