Recently, our Bible Study decided we were going to donate stuff to a local homeless shelter. As I began looking though the list I noticed a few things on there that we have stockpiled. I thought....oh I can give a couple of those (specifically cans of spaghetti sauce). Immediately I felt God
Did you hear that? I was telling God that I couldn't give up more to the homeless, least of these, in our very own community. Ouch! I would give two cans. I had purchased 10 and I "needed" most of those for my family...so two it was. I couldn't stop thinking about those two cans.
One day after finishing my Bible Study for the day I pulled back out the list and looked at it. Again God said, "Two?" "Ok God...three? four? five?" Yes, five it was. There are now three cans left.....PLENTY to get me through to the next sale. Then I started going through the list again and was able to find a few other things I could give up. Later that night I told Tony about my amazing selfishness, my lack of trust (again.....I mean what if I have to spend an extra $.30 on some spaghetti sauce next time I shop....can you hear the sarcasm?), and what I was planning to do. I asked Tony if I could match dollar for dollar what I was pulling out of our stockpile and get a few other things. Absolutely and then some.
But God wasn't done yet. I had still been fighting Him on the issue of the razors I had in my stockpile. See I knew the the one I currently had desperately needed to be replaced. So I decide of the two I had stockpiled, the "worse" one would go. As soon as I opened the box this morning the better one was sitting there. God had already been asking me if I could give it up.....I picked it up and shifted through the box for a minute looking for the other razor. Then I looked back at the first one and walked away from the box with it. I couldn't believe how hard it was to give up.
Ok, I'm sure your thinking, "wow you really couldn't give that up for someone homeless?" Yes, I was really struggling but it wasn't the stockpile that really was the issue. It was security. Where is my security? At that moment it was lying in stuff. Stuff I had built up to "protect" my family. The higher prices rise the more I want to protect that for my family. I put my trust and security in that and not God.
That stockpile can represent so many things. It could be that newest electronic you have to have. The desire to go out to eat, your job, your shoe collection, your car, your kids. Yes, those are ALL God's. But when we hold on to those things, when we draw lines in the sand and say "no God you stop here" is, when we go too far. Having and doing those things are NOT bad at all. But its how it controls your heart that is. And maybe the struggle is for something much more simple like me. Maybe its books that you get up tight about if the pages come back bent. Maybe its your child's toy that your afraid is going to get broken if you invite that family into your home. Whatever it is God wants it. He gave it too you and he wants it back. I'm sure in this whole journey this won't be the first time God convicts me of holding on way too tight. I pray that through it all I would be rid of myself and give him all the honor and glory.
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have give you only what comes from your hands.
1 Chronicles 29:14