“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” 2 Corinthians 9:11.
One of the first words each of our four children voiced was “MINE!” It was a familiar expression as each tried their best to hang onto what was in their hands at the time. Trying to teach their young hearts that God owned everything and His desire was for us to be generous in sharing those gifts with others was a difficult concept to grasp. But as I recently discovered, this isn’t just a lesson children need to learn; adults often need it too.
Searching for sand dollars
During an afternoon at the beach collecting shells, I mentioned to God, “I sure would love to find an unbroken sand dollar.” I then took about 10 steps, and to my astonishment noticed what looked like the top of a beige shell with sand dollar markings. “No way,” I said out loud and excitedly brushed the waters back and forth to remove a thin layer of sand. Sure enough, peering back at me was a most beautiful, completely intact sand dollar! I was stunned!
I gathered it up with childlike joy, thanking God for His goodness and intimate display of love for me. Passing a young mother and her two children, I opened my hand to reveal my prize. “Look what I found today!” I said. “I asked God for a sand dollar and sure enough, He led me to it.” The young boy’s eyes widened. “I’ve never seen a sand dollar before!” he exclaimed and then ran off to find his own sea treasures.
As I continued walking I thought, “God, would you lead me to another sand dollar so I can give it to that young boy? Without warning the question appeared, “Why don’t you give him the one in your hand?” Instantly I felt the fingers of my heart clench snug around the sand dollar. Facing my resistance I whimpered back, “But you gave this to me! It’s mine!” Like my young children once did, I was doing my best to hold onto what was in my hand.
A lesson in generous love
As I waded back home, God gently reminded me that He was lavishly generous with me in offering His beloved Son. That sacrifice would mark my heart the more I cherished and understood His amazing gift of grace. He also reminded me that there wasn’t one gift I enjoyed that wasn’t given by Him, created by Him, sustained, and held together by His generosity.
With each gift He gives God empowers me, by His Spirit, to offer it in order to enrich the Kingdom. This ushers in thanksgiving to God and brings honor to His name. Jesus is my Prize, and by God’s grace my hands will remain open, in order to reveal His generous treasures.
May we be reminded today of every way He has made us rich: community, love, time, resources, finances, giftedness, job, family, ministry. And may we be generous women who have hands wide open with His good gifts.