I am studying an overview of the Old Testament. I’ve studied it before, but I felt the need to touch base with it again. I don’t spend a ton of time in the Old Testament. I read it yearly but find myself turning to the New Testament more in my daily studies. But I do know that when we commit to discovering history and learning more of the Old Testament content, the New Testament becomes even more amazing. And goodness, when the New Testament is amazing to you – watch out!
This is God’s design…
Let me give you one, quick example (because…5 minutes).
A long time ago, I was down and out. Long story short *darn time clock ticking* I was struggling to pay my rent, buy groceries, keep the lights on, put gas in the car, and oh – pay for said car. My boss at the time very unexpectedly called me into her office and shared how she and her husband felt led to help me and she handed me an envelope of money. I will never forget that day – her voice cracking and both our hands shaking. It was a humbling experience for both of us and a great example of God’s design.
No, his design is not for other people to pay my way through life – but he did design for us to be generous with the resources he has blessed us with. My friend knew this because the words and stories in the bible are more than just words and stories in the bible.
When I went home that evening, I of course thanked God for what he blessed me with. And yes, that was a true blessing, in my eyes. We often say we are blessed because we have the things that make us feel safe and secure and successful – and I think we miss the point of blessings…but I digress. That evening was the evening I told God I wanted to be like my friend. I knew that I couldn’t hand out envelopes of cash, but that someday, I would. And I have.
You guys, my kids were always fed. I always had money to pay my bills on top of sports fees and doctor visits and unexpected expenses. I wish I could tell you I was a super saver and financial whiz, but honestly, I can only explain it by God. Miracles. I didn’t make enough money to make ends meet at one time in my life, but my ends always met because he prompted people to do things to help me get back on my feet.
A bag of groceries on my porch. Extra encouragement at the right time. A cup of coffee on a busy morning. A late fee waived. No charge to fix a flat tire. Christmas gifts for my kids. An envelope of cash to ease the stress of trying to rob Peter to pay Paul. These were unexpected blessings in my life at a time when I needed them most. How could I not start doing the same for others? So I did – and I do.
That is God’s design…
I’ve paid for meals and groceries and coffees and bills – and I have done it with joy knowing how it feels when someone does the same for you.
Recently, a friend shared a personal story about generosity. She felt led to help a friend who needed $300. She prayed about it with her husband and ended up giving her friend $500. In a matter of a couple days, she had received $450 back from various unexpected sources. She said something I have printed in my journal and in my wallet.
“It isn’t yours to begin with so be generous when you can. It allows for the miraculous to take place when you least expect it.”
That’s God’s design…
So many of you have been extravagantly generous in giving to our dad’s memorial fund. We appreciate your generosity more than mere words can express. We trust in the words and the stories of the bible – in a God who is way bigger than the expenses and heartache and troubles and questions we face. The miracle is right before us…oh sweet friends, that is indeed God’s design.
How have you been on the giving or receiving end of generosity?
Linking up with Kate and friends at Five Minute Friday. Come check out other thoughts on the word design!