Have you noticed that God has a sense of humor? Many of the times I’ve said, “I will never….,” it bounces back into my life as the Lord gently nudges, “Yes, you will. You will actually love it because I know how I’ve wired you, my daughter.”
I uttered one of my “I will nevers” when reading the following short verses in 2 Kings:
One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”(2 Kings 4:8-10)
I thought, “That’s great for her but I will never host nonfamily members in my home. I’m a career woman. I do ‘important’ work and have a title with ‘EVP’ in it. I have more important things to do than to cook and set up beds and tables for people.”
However, God used several events in my life as change agents to reveal that my generosity passion is sharing life with people in my home who stay short term in our house but long term in our heart.
The first change agent was staying in the home of Howard and Beverly Dayton, the founders of Crown Ministries. What made this stay unusual was that I was interviewing for a job. I braced myself for tough interview questions in the middle of pot roast that evening. Instead I found a warm and welcoming couple that wanted to get to know me as a person. I realized that I learned more about them in one evening in their home than I would have in a year in the office. It fast-tracked a relationship and changed the trajectory of my career.
The second change agent was not really an event. It was a season of four years when Dave and Judy Scobey welcomed me into their basement apartment five or six nights a month when I was traveling to their city for work. They literally built out a second home in their basement for the sole purpose of serving those in ministry. They even gave me a key to their house to come and go as I needed.
Through these change agents, my visual image of “setting up beds and tables” morphed drastically. I recognized the beauty of sharing life with others from within their homes. It was an amazing gift.
Fast forward seven years and you’ll find that the Lord has absolutely catalyzed my generosity passion for hosting others in our home. We have had four ministry interns live with us for two years each. We’ve also hosted dozens of missionaries, friends of friends, and others who just heard about our place to stay. I’ve realized that my heart is overflowing when my house is full!
God has gifted you with a generosity passion deep inside.
God has gifted you with a generosity passion deep inside. Do you know what it is? If you’re challenged to know what it is, perhaps you might look at your “I will nevers” and ask the Lord what work He’s preparing in you.
Do you want to know the strangest thing? I experience the greatest joy when making up the beds and cleaning the apartment after new friends leave. I know the Lord must chuckle as I thank Him for giving me such fulfillment in “setting up beds and tables” when it was once my “I will never.”