Friday, February 15, 2013

when giving gets hard ... [re-post]

This week has been ... real.  I've been spending more time with faces than with screens, and  ... I'm okay with that.  I'm still reading (so I can give you more book reviews on Mondays), still fighting (more to tell you about Anna, and the fight for freedom on Tuesdays), still learning to live radically Simple (part of the good pruning this week has been felt here in the nest, yes?), still thankful on Thursdays (and every day), and still writing - preparing more prompts and encouraging words for more Fridays ... But this week has been about faces, not screens.  Thank you for grace.

Today I have a re-post for you, though. Something to think about if you're weary (which I know many of you are - thank you for the vulnerable trust of honesty).  I don't know it all, but I do know two things from previous experiences in the pit of weary:  we can't give up, and Jesus Christ is a never-empty fountain of life.  We know the source for our re-filling.  If we keep going back to Him, we don't have to stay in the weariness pit.  Take it from one who knows.

So, without further ado ...  "when it's hard to give" [from November, 2011]:

"Sometimes it's hard to give." -Cynthia Aldrich, Missionary to Haiti as we rushed around her table at dusk trying to get the right sizes of baby clothes to mothers waiting outside her gate.

So when is it too hard to give? When do you stop giving because it gets too complicated? Is it when the people in need are starting to abuse your generosity and rely less on God and their own part? When is the moment when giving gets too difficult to keep giving?

I just want to throw this out there. Argue with me if you must.

Sometimes it's hard to give, but it's never too hard. We keep on giving.  Because we're never really as empty as we feel.  When we know the Fountain, He can always pour us full again.

It was hard for God to give. Does that shock you? Do you think it was easy for Him to give manna and quail to his whiney, gripe-y kids? You assume ease for Him to deliver His people into the land of milk and honey, defeating tribe after tribe, just so they would turn away from Him and worship the very idols He hated? You don't think God has feelings too? Think again.

In the book of Hosea, God laments the betrayal of His people as they had turned away from Him to worship other gods and had abandoned His love and plan for them. He demonstrated it through the prophet, asking Hosea to marry a prostitute as an object lesson to the people. Being the obedient man of God, Hosea took Gomer as his wife, who subsequently left him to go back to her life of sin.

" 'I will punish her for all those times when she burned incense to her images of Baal, when she put on her earrings and jewels and went out to look for her lovers but forgot all about me,' says the Lord." -Hosea 2:13 (NLT)

But God had Hosea rescue her again, proving his love for her and His love for all of us, His Bride.

" 'But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there . . . I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the Lord.' " -vs. 19-20

God gave. And then He gave again. And then He gave some more. His people have never been thankful, really, myself included. I've trampled the Cross in disobedience and thought He would be done giving me grace. It was hard for Him, but He gave once again. His mercy is not cheap. The high price of His blood is no small trinket, rather the greatest gift ever known. And on my face before Him, He gave it again. It is in His character and nature to give and keep giving, no matter how hard it gets or how complicated people make it.

And so we should do likewise. To one another. To the poor. To missions. To the brokenhearted. To prisoners. Give, and never stop. Like Him.

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