Staying in touch with God’s abundance can cure the “dirthday” blues

By Leonard Lauriault

Religion Columnist

While writing a text message recently about someone’s birthday I noticed I’d written “dirthday” instead of “birthday.” I don’t know how this misspelling happened because the “d” is nowhere near the “b” on the my cell phone’s keyboard. Anyway, that made me wonder what a dirthday might be.

“Dirth” is actually a now-accepted misspelling of “dearth,” which means, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, “a scarcity that makes dear,” or simply, “an inadequate supply.” This brought to mind some concepts for this article.

First, scarcity (or distance) does make the heart grow fonder despite historical or futuristic reality. For example, the Israelites cried out to God because they were oppressed in slavery. Then in the wilderness only about a month later, they grumbled remembering luxuriant food they may or may not actually have had in Egypt, and forgot the land of promise that flowed with milk and honey to which they were going (Exodus 2:7-10; 16:1-3).  Those who face difficulties in this life, such as illness or other critical need will often turn to God asking for help only to forget him when the trouble passes.

If we stay focused on God, though, he’ll supply all our needs and desires more than adequately (Hebrews 12:2-3; Psalm 37:3-4; John 14:12-13; Philippians 4:12-13; 19; Numbers 11:31-32). Sometimes it seems that our needs are scarcely met, but that’s likely because we begin including luxuries among our “needs” (for example, when an otherwise well-fed person like me says, “I gotta have some chocolate”).

While God says, “Yes,” to the desires of our hearts when they’re aligned with his will, quite often he says, “No, my grace is sufficient for you (Acts 9:36-40; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).” We’re more likely to get the desires of our heart now if we’re truly focused on God. And, if we’re patiently, obediently waiting for Jesus’ return (a futuristic reality), we’ll be richly rewarded after this life is over (Revelation 2:10-11; 2 Timothy 4:6-8 – the saying “good things come to them that wait” applies to this life and the next).

Second, because God supplies everything we need, we can do all things he expects of us through the strength and abilities he provides. He makes us thoroughly equipped (completely adequate) for every good work he prepares for us to do and there’ll be no dearth of those opportunities (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:10). We’ll be able to do even greater things than Jesus did (or God can accomplish the greater things through us than we could ever imagine – Ephesians 3:20-21).

Finally, we have a limited amount of time here on earth, but it’s adequate for us to become obedient to God and live pleasingly so that we can spend eternity with him when there’ll be no dearth of time (James 4:14; Acts 17:24-27, 30-31; Ephesians 5:8-17).

Have you or are you taking full advantage of the abundant life God can provide (John 10:10)? He’s set a day for Jesus’ return after which there’ll be a dearth of that opportunity (2 Peter 3:8-13).

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at

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