Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 15, 2 Corinthians 8, Ezekiel 22, Psalm 67
This is the first time I’m really diving into 2 Corinthians…in my lifetime. I know, I probably lost half our readers there, but I’m a firm believer in transparency! I’m finding that I’m just really convicted by the messages for us there. I don’t have lots of great Bible history or insight for you today. Instead I just want to share some of my own faith story. In second Corinthians, Paul speaks of giving generously. This is an area that I have struggled in the past. Putting my whole faith and trust in the Lord to provide for us was just really scary. I’ve always struggled with the fact that despite having really successful careers, my husband and I don’t have a fancy house or really nice cars. What we do have is a lot of medical debt for our five year old and some student loans on two doctoral degrees that could pretty much build a castle!
I’ve listened to lots of sermons on cheerful giving and putting your trust in God when it comes to finances. I always felt so moved by those sermons, but that old sense of doubt would come creeping in and I’d be back to placing my trust in the dollar bill and not my Heavenly Father. This summer, our family was humbled to our knees when our son became so ill that required weeks of hospitalization. This community, our Bible Journal community showed our family what Paul meant by generosity. I was taken to my knees again this week when I read these words,
“For you know that grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
This week, my husband and I were given an opportunity to give. An opportunity to give to another family experiencing deep pain and grief. For the first time I felt the absolute freedom and grace in giving. True giving, not substantial giving, but giving of what we have to bring others closer to God. We don’t have much, but there was so much freedom and reward in sharing it. I felt like I could truly connect with Paul’s teaching,
“So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:11)
Do you see? We don’t have to wait to become wealthy to be givers. Instead, we only have to become ready. We only have to experience the deep love of Jesus through generosity one time to become ready to share it. When I think back over the last few months of our life, the moments I remember are the times when people came to the hospital to be with us even though it wasn’t easy. I remember the days I wasn’t sure how we would pay for daycare for our daughters, only to be blessed hours later with all the childcare we needed. I remember fear and sadness giving way to comfort and peace in Jesus and the plan he has for our family. Now we get to share that peace with other families. We get to share that living sacrifice with others because it was so generously given to us. I pray for all of us that we give according to what we have rather than what we don’t have. I pray for each of you that have given so generously. Thank you for shining Christ’s light in our life. We and our children know the love of Jesus because of you.