It is exciting to receive God’s blessings as a result of another’s obedience, and that happened on a beach trip to Destin with friends last summer. We were an hour from home when we stopped for breakfast and one of the women said, “Wait a minute, I want to tell you something the Lord laid on my heart. I’ve prayed about this trip and I want to pay for all the gas, meals and extras.”
Immediately there were shouts of, “Oh no you won’t!” from three of our group while I raised my hands and said, “Thank you, Jesus.”
Our benefactor smiled, “Thanks, Mary. I knew I could count on you.”
I was all about a blessing and was ready to receive what the Lord laid on her heart to give. I had no clue how humbling that would be.
That week, the friend practicing intentional obedience was joyful in her largess. Those who initially resisted became grateful and the one (me) who was so willing to receive became acutely aware of how undeserving she was.
Every acquisition during the week required me to adjust my thinking. I became acutely aware of every purchase, but not in an uncomfortable way. Her thoughtfulness made me careful, and by the end of the week I was just as eager to become the giver as I was to receive.
As always, Jesus’ words proved true, it is more blessed to give than to receive. In a world with so many needs, it is easy to become cynical about giving. I’ve heard, “I can’t give enough to do any good.” Or “If I give to this organization, I’ll get a mailbox full of requests for more.”
Our week at the beach instilled a renewed desire in me to give, and the opportunities abound:
A time of respite to a caregiver
Some money to someone in need
A card or call of encouragement
A kind word to someone who usually gets on your last nerve
Comfort for someone who is hurting.
Recently I noticed a quote that read, “There are two kinds of people: the givers and the takers.” That may be true but I want to swing to and fro between categories. I want to get every blessing He has for me from whomever He chooses to deliver it, but I also want give.
Mother wrote in her journal, “From the time of Abraham, people learned that when they obey God’s voice and surrender to Him whatever they hold most precious, He multiplies it thousands of times.”
My friend’s example of intentional obedience reminded me that keeping a faithful relationship with Him will open my heart to His specific tasks and He will equip me to perform those tasks. I can choose to be obedient.