On the Fear of Running Out (FORO)

3 min read
Encouraging faith lessons from the life of the Elijah

There was always enough…

1 Kings 17:16

By now you’ve probably heard of something called FOMO? It stands for the fear of missing out that is often brought on by social media usage. The idea is that as you scroll through the snapshots of people’s lives, it can give you a sense that you are missing out on something good. This fear, in turn, has a way of eroding your personal level of joy and contentment.

Something to be aware of.

Well, FORO is another one to add to the list. This one has nothing to do with social media. Actually, it started way back in time.

What is FORO? It is the fear of running out. It is that subconcscious anxiety about running out of the things that we must have…things like food, money, opportunity, ideas, freedom, joy, and love.

FORO is this ongoing sub-surface tension about whether there will be enough. Even if our plates may be heaping full of the things we value now, somehow there’s this insecurity that they will become empty with time.

Even people with vast financial wealth who are “set” for life wonder if they will run out of the things that money cannot buy.

Elijah, the prophet of God, lived in a time when plates were literally empty. There was a long-term famine in effect and people were dying. God sent Elijah to the house of a woman who had already lost her husband and was about to lose her son. Against all reason, Elijah asked her for her last drops of oil and her last bit of flour. She respectfully explained that her plate was almost empty and if she gave the last portions to Elijah, she and her son would pass away from starvation.

With a reassuring message from the Lord, Elijah said:

“…The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.” (1 Kings 17:14)

In other words, keep pouring, because you’re not going to run out.

The context may be unique to Elijah, but the principle is the same for us. The promise that we will never run out of God’s gracious provision is repeated abundantly in the New Testament:

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

James 4:6 But He gives more grace… 

For those who live by faith there is a metaphorical jar of God’s grace that has no bottom. (In my case, it’s more like a bucket.) God provides grace not only in saving us, but in sustaining us on a daily basis. And there is always more where that came from. You may get low, but you will never be empty.

I once heard Jill Briscoe comment on Elijah’s story and she summed it up with six simple words:

You never run out of God.

Today it may feel like your jar is empty, but it is not. God promises that there will always be something in there. So keep on pouring. Keep on sharing. Keep on living. Because you never run out of God.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

3 thoughts on “On the Fear of Running Out (FORO)

  1. Great post! We will never run out of God! Here in Colorado, we are going through an egg shortage. 6 million chickens killed from bird flu, and the governor saying the stores can only sell cage free eggs. Empty shelves make eggs the new toilet paper, like during covid! I remember one YouTube video during covid where a man took all of guns out of his gun safe, and gently placed a 24 pack of toilet paper in the safe. I’ll bet he is now taking out the toilet paper and putting egg cartons in instead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh goodness, that’s both funny and tragic!!! We’re feeling the egg pinch to. My little hands aren’t producing much this winter so we’re paying way too much for store-bought. Saw a funny meme, with hens dressed in Gucci hats and bags due to these high prices on eggs : ) Appreciate uou, Godstillspeaks!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love the meme with chickens in Gucci! We have 250 chickens at our ranch, and with the cold and less sunlight in the day, they are not producing many eggs right now, but that happens at this time every year, so this too shall pass!


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