If we are to live a careful life, the life described in Ephesians 5.15-17 that makes the most of every God-given opportunity, we will need margin.
Margin is space, leeway, a little extra. It is good old elbow room. It is leaving enough space in our minds, our schedules, our finances and our hearts for unexpected life events or God-opportunities.
And margin really is miraculous because when we leave space for God, He fills it.
I love the story of the widow and Elisha in 2 Kings 4. Here we see a dear woman who needs a miracle. She really is in the most desperate situation. Elisha tells her to collect as many jars as she can. Then the miracle happens as oil fills every last jar to the brim and the widow has a resource she can now sell.
I often think of those jars. The number of jars available really did determine the size of the miracle that day. I think it is often the same in my life. The space I make to hear God, meet with Him and serve Him determines the size of the miracle I can receive.
And yet, how often do I ask God to bless my fullness instead of asking Him to fill my emptiness?
Perhaps we have become uncomfortable with emptiness. We are so used to noise and activity that quiet can make us uneasy. Busyness is the badge we wear to prove we are valuable. Multi-tasking is a way of life. Our schedules are packed and our minds are busy.
But what if we decided to make some space? What if we, in faith, put out some empty jars for God to fill? Like wells dug before it rains, we could dig down into our lives and make room for God’s agenda.
What if we determined to not be over-extended in any area of our lives so that we have space for the unexpected?
Because margin is really availability.
If I have leeway in my schedule, my energy and my resources then I can respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
If someone is hurting, I can be there.
If I am touched by a need, I can give.
If God is speaking, I can stop and listen.
And if God opens up an opportunity to me I will have the energy, time, inclination and resources to wisely make the most of it.
God wants to do so much more in and through you than you ever have imagined. He wants to speak and deliver and heal and restore. He wants to extend His Kingdom in your life and the lives of those around you.
He just wants more space to work.