Okay, this is a post I’ve been wanting to write, but haven’t had a chance to sit down and get the thoughts out. Already, this is the 6th start to this post this afternoon. I don’t want to sound too polished, or lofty, or proud, or…..anything else except being real. So, here goes:
Recently I have been challenged by some circumstances to give more. I know that in the past, I’ve been a generous giver. I’ll give you my time, my money, my food….whatver you need, I’ll be open to giving it to you. It’s something I love to do. I love to bless people out of the abundance that God has given me.
But what happens when you feel you don’t have anything to give, yet God asks you to anyway?
I heard a story about giving, and my initial gut reaction shocked me, and made me think about my motivations and my beliefs in this area.
A group in my church goes out each week and serves food to the people in a poor neighborhood. They also take meals to the homeless people living beneath the bridge. They go out each week, without fail, regardless of sun or rain or snow. We recently had a patch of cold weather, with snow and below freezing temperatures. This group went out during that storm, and served food. At the end of their evening, they started to give away more. They gave shoes, socks, even jackets to the people they were serving, simply because they saw someone in need.
When I heard this story, my initial reaction was to say, “Well, I couldn’t give away my new jacket. It’s the only one I have, and I don’t have money to buy a new one.”
Ouch. Even admitting I said those words is hard.
It’s true, my jacket is the only one I have that fits. I have the one I bought last year, when I weighed 60 pounds more. I guess I could wear that one. But this new jacket was given to me, and it was a blessing that I needed at that moment. It fits perfectly, and will serve my needs during this winter. I’m sure there will be many snow days where I will want to go outside and play with the kids, and this will keep me nice and warm, and look good in the process. I love it, simply put. And I don’t have the spare money to go out and buy myself another one.
But where is God in all of this? He’s the one who gave me this brand new, designer label jacket. If he could give me this one, couldn’t he also give me another, possibly even better one? Why should I worry about how I’m going to stay warm on the drive home? I have a home. I have a warm home. I have a warm bed. I have food. I am blessed. God has taken care of me so far. Am I so weak that I can’t believe in him for a simple thing like a warm jacket?
Yikes. It certainly got me to thinking……
I am generous in the things I am comfortable being generous with. Now, it’s time to go deeper. To look harder, and listen more closely. I have been give much. And I can give much away. It might not be what I envision, but that’s not what matters. I’m not God, and I don’t sit on the throne. I don’t have a crystal ball into other people’s lives, and I don’t know what they need. But next time, if God puts it on my heart to give, you better believe I’m going to be listening. And I’m not going to question it. I either trust that God will take care of me, ALL of my needs, or not. If I truly believe that he will, then………what do I have to fear?