Saturday, July 30, 2011

Created to Give

It was in the middle of the hottest month of the year (mid-July). We had only a few dollars to our name. My husband was out of work and I had recently jumped a huge leap of faith by taking a leave of absence from a job that I ultimately ended up quitting. I was completely, totally worn out from working long days doing manual labor. I knew it was God's will for me to be home with my son and for my husband to be working, supporting our family.

It was by far the hardest step of faith I had ever taken in my life. Our money was almost gone. There was no income in sight. I wrestled with the darkness that was seeking to bring me down, until a revelation dropped in my spirit that changed me eternally. For the first time, I could see why being jobless and destitute was so demeaning. God revealed to me these words:

"I created you to give. You were created in My image and I am the Giver of all givers."

I knew in that moment that the wrestling going on in my spirit was from the part of me that wanted to give extravagantly to people in need instead of being the one on the receiving end for far too long. I realized that we all need a helping hand at times, but because my husband had been attending college and out of work for two and a half years, my spirit was beginning to feel demoralized by being needy for such an extended period of time.

As soon as I had the revelation I knew something had to change. I began to pray with an intensity that could have moved Mount Everest. I cried out day and night to Jesus to bring change—a permanent change to my life. I desperately wanted to be out of the impoverished place we were in.

It would take an entire chapter to tell the stories of how God rescued us out of the darkness. So I'll save the details for my book. But in God's mercy and grace, He listened to my cries and He rescued us out of our poverty. He swept us up into His arms and delivered us into the land of milk and honey.

It's been over a year since the life-changing revelation and it still feels surreal to be able to give generously to people in need. To be clear: I had always given to others in many different ways. I gave my money, my time, my talents (even when I was in need myself). But I had not been able to give in the extravagant ways that my soul was longing for.

God created us to be extravagant givers because He is an extravagant GIVER!

God did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?(Romans 8:32)

I hate poverty. It destroys lives. It keeps people paralyzed. It keeps intelligent, well-meaning people imprisoned and trapped in a thick, nasty land of muck.

Tears roll down my face when I hear of people living in horrible conditions, jobless, and in lack of their basic needs.
I am thankful to Jesus for allowing me to live as an impoverished woman for a season so that I would have compassion for those still stuck in the muck.

I am thankful that now I have the resources to give generously to people who have real needs.

I have a dream...

My dream is that one day poverty will be gone forever—that all of mankind will have their tummies full, have a safe place to live, and that the whole wide world will have all of their needs met.

My dream is Jesus’ dream.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (John 3:18)

I know the dream will come true as we, the body of Christ, put our hearts together and serve Him by serving the least of these.

Matthew 25:40 (New American Standard)
"The King will answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."

2 Corinthians 9:11 (Today's International Version)
" 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."

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