I squeezed as hard as I could, but nothing happened. I started again from the bottom and slowly worked my way up, making sure that I didn’t miss a single drop and sure enough when I reached the top of the toothpaste tube I had just sufficient to clean my teeth and to head out for the day. (Just thinking about it, I realise that I didn’t throw the tube away and I just left it for my wife, who will now face the same problem that I faced except there will be even less toothpaste for her!)
This is not the first time that this has happened to me and I tend not to notice when the toothpaste is half-full but I am very aware when you have to fight to draw the last remnants from the tube.
This is a pretty common theme in life, you tend not to notice or to take things for granted when you have an abundance but when things are scarce you really miss them: be it food supplies in the fridge or petrol in the car; be it free time in your day or the energy to complete all the things that you have to face. When faced with these obstacles you feel that you don’t have enough to spare you end up like my toothpaste tube that just doesn’t have anymore to give.
Working to the edge of your capacity is not ideal, we need to learn not to stretch ourselves out to thinly but the problem is that this life has a way of placing demands upon us which keep drawing from the limited resources within.
The problem with my toothpaste tube is that it moves in one direction – from ‘full’ to ‘empty’ – there is no opportunity for a ‘top-up’.
If our life moves in the same way, then we are headed for a crisis…what we need is to be constantly ‘refilled’ with the resources that we require.
In the book of Psalms it says “my cup runs over” it is the picture of fullness and freshness, life and hope because of the Lord generously providing those things we need. If we will learn to draw from Him we will never lack the resources to face what life presents to us…
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;”
2 Corinthians 4:8
The question is…How ‘full’ are you?