I was doing morning prayer from the Prayer Book today during Quaker Meeting (I even snuck my little Anglican rosary in), and one phrase in particular really stood out to me: "Give me the joy of your saving help again, and sustain me with your bountiful spirit." (BCP 137)

The word bountiful brought a couple other phrases to mind:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Mt 7:7-10)

Bountiful (per the online Miriam-Wester dictionary):
1 : liberal in bestowing gifts or favors
2 : given or provided abundantly
And from the M-W Thesaurus:
1 :being more than enough without being excessive -- see PLENTIFUL
2 :giving or sharing in abundance and without hesitation -- see GENEROUS

Really makes you think when you spend your days just worried about enough. Enough money, enough smarts, enough time.

If God is a bountiful God, a plentiful God, an abundant God, then we can rest in that. Or, as a priest pointed out from the King James (generally abyssmal) translation, we should learn to "not fret yourselves." (How's that for a creative reflexive verb?)

But here's where I get stuck. I think there is abundance. I think God is generous. But I also think thousands of people are starving, dying of curable diseases, and being hunted by their own species. So how do I rest in God's abundance when I don't see it in the lives of so many? I certainly don't believe they're just not asking for it the right way - I don't believe God is petty.

The closest I can get to answering this is to say that the needy, sick, and scared will receive more of God's generousity if I extend it, and I'll see more of God's abundance if I teach others to meet uncomfortable needs.

This doesn't take away my bills, make my transcripts more impressive, or get the laundry done, so I don't have a firm conclusion. But God has a bountiful spirit, so let's see if we can work with that.

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"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins