In my earlier post, I mentioned how I struggle with certain Bible verses. Matthew 6:28-30 bothers me because I cannot imagine how God supplies clothes. But because God invites us to test Him in the arena of money in Malachi 3:10, my husband and I decided to let the testing begin. Many people I know don’t test Him with their money though, why is that?
Why don’t we test Him?
I’d like to say it’s because we’re so capable, and we don’t really need His help. But in truth, we doubt He’d really come through. It comes back to my question above, “How does God fit a pair of jeans on a lily?”
What would we do if He did flood us?
Maybe we’d drop our lower jaw so far down, it could pick up dust bunnies. Our sense of awe would be monumental. We’d want to tell other people to test Him too, because the pluses are that great. We might even feel embarrassed at how inept we really are and appreciative at how completely apt He is.
Our knees might buckle, and we’d find ourselves on the floor looking up at His immense aptitude wondering why we didn’t do this earlier.
Years ago, my husband and I decided to call God’s bluff. We put our money where our faith was and watched intently to see what would happen. It wasn’t some grandiose university study, but we took it seriously. On pay-day, the first 10% of moneys brought in went directly to our church. Occasionally, we gave more if a special need came up, but always 10%.
I was skeptical and nervous but viewed it like a weight loss regimen. Instant results might not show the depth of long-term gains.
We’ve seen results we never imagined.
Some results appear subtly, like a connected relationship that keeps growing stronger between us and God as well as between each other. Other things jump out, like checks showing up in the mail a day before a major payment comes due.
Many friends have made the blessings possible because of their generosity, but over time, when it happens again and again, we’d be deceiving ourselves if we didn’t give God the credit.
Cars last longer than they should, clothes show up at our door step (nice clothes), and much-needed dryers and lawnmowers get donated out of the blue (thanks John and Kelly).
The picture attached shows how the flood gates of heaven pour out on my kids, and I’m humbled to be along for the downpour.
How can you receive these blessings?
I can’t say I totally know, because I don’t decide the gift, but I trust the Giver. Here are choices our family makes, and we see God’s blessings in the midst:
1. The tithe thing works. We give to God our tithe and offering (aka 10% of our money), because He gave us the ability to earn it. It’s our expression of gratitude.
2. We accept any gift with a smile and a hug. Pride jumped out the window years ago and we found the blessings of a prideless life. Sometimes we don’t need an item someone gives, but we search for its proper recipient.
3. We don’t attempt to control what gift we receive. (as if that were possible) We trust God to supply, even if that means we don’t get to see a cool movie or go to restaurants all the time.
4. We always say thank you to the person who gives and the God who inspired them.
What about the lilies?
Now I begin to understand the meaning of this verse. If God so chooses, He could clothe us all. He could give however He chooses to give. If our eyes are open to His actions, we’d be stupid to claim any credit for the deal.
My two little lilies find themselves fully clothed for fall and school without a single store visit. For that I say, thanks to my amazingly generous friends. But I also say, “Praise God, thank You!” to the King of my life.
My choice today:
Recognize how much more God can and will do, when I surrender my skills and power to Him.
- How does God fit a pair of jeans on a lily? (part one) (paulawhidden.wordpress.com)