Let’s talk donuts…or doughnuts-depending on your spelling preference. Donuts…doughnuts…they’re the same; a fried dough dessert food, a scrumptious cake confection, generally taking on the shape of an “O” or a ring. They can be of the plain cake genre or adorned with one or more combinations of sprinkles, sauces, honey, sugar, icing or other unique toppings.
There is a quote I have seen repeatedly in various forms and it is as follows:
As you travel through this life my friend, whatever be your goal;
Keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.
Another variation, found in the New York Sun paper in 1904 reads:
Twixt the optimist and the pessimist
the difference is the droll;
The optimist the donut sees
The pessimist sees the hole.
The point is to keep your eye on the positive things, blessings, what you have, the cake of life…and refrain from dwelling on what is lacking, what is needed, the “if I only had” desires we sometimes express. I love this expression. The Bible Study on “One Thousand Gifts” that we are wrapping up tonight, emphasizes this concept but also teaches us that there is a blessing of some kind in ALL things. This study suggests that even the hole of the donut is a blessing…maybe a donut filled with cream or a sweet strawberry jam. This study has taught me that God bestows blessings on us in the good moments in life and in the challenges and trials as well. Yes, even the hole of the donut is full- you just have to want to see and taste that filling and wait for God to reveal the sweetness of His plan during these times.
There have been two words on my mind this morning. Abundance and Sustain. Abundance is something I have been praying for.
What is abundance? It is defined as “existing or available in large quantities; plentiful.” The opposite is described as “deficient, insufficient, lacking”.
I have blogged about the word “Sustain” before. It means “to keep in existence, maintain, supply with necessities, provide for, support from below, keep from sinking or falling, to bear up under, withstand, to affirm the validity of.”
God supplies what we need. He sustains. He supports, maintains, gives us breath and strength to walk through life- moment by moment. We rely on Him in times of need- financially lean times, marital discord, death and illness, and temptations of all kinds- and he provides. While the blessings may be harder to see in the more challenging moments of life (the hole)- they are there. Maybe a marriage was built on a shaky foundation and God is allowing it to crumble so HE can rebuild it. Maybe reliance on God during financially lean times will reveal areas of our live where “wants” were taking precedence over our own needs or the needs of others. Maybe through the hospital confinement of a loved one there will be an opportunity to witness or minister to another family at the same hospital. Jesus has come so that I may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) That abundance comes directly from God. His desire for us is not a mediocre life…it’s an ABUNDANT life. A full, overflowing, plentiful life exuding joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23) I guess we could equate the Fruits of the Spirit to the fruit filling of that donut. When we take a bite into this confection of life that has been gifted to us- giving thanks for our salvation, blessings, sustenance, breath, trials that give us ample opportunity to rely on the Lord, living for HIM and nothing else, seeking Him in all things- then we learn to live abundantly as the Fruits of the Spirit gush out and fill our person. In our study “One Thousand Gifts”, the emphasis is then allowing that gush of God’s blessing and the fruits thereof to overflow and spill out onto those around us. Not accepting the gift given by clutching our hands around it…but re-gifting and passing on these things.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty I have learned the secret of being well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty (abundance!) or in want. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens (sustains!) me.
In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Focusing on blessings daily…intentionally…in all things- is a wonderful way to experience the abundance that God is pouring into our lives. An abundance of joy, opportunities to serve others, provision, blessing, love, teachable moments, growing and molding, reliance on Him and not myself, blessings that are my husband and children, being content in plenty or in want, sharing the gospel and doing all things with His Kingdom purpose in mind. He sustains me in the good times and not so good times. That, my friends, is a blessing in itself! How can we possibly recognize abundance if we don’t make note of our blessings? If we are too busy looking at the holes in life as empty, or become so focused on ourselves- how can we give thanks? How can we pour his blessing out on others? We shouldn’t just scoot through life day by day with our noses down. We should live each moment, with our head up and hands open to receive and to GIVE!
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!
Give thanks in all things!
Keep your eye upon the donut, but don’t forget the jelly in the hole!