surprised by generosity

Growing up in a Christian family, in a church, attending the myriad Christian events happening around the country has its many plus points.

One of the downsides is that you get very good at expressing what you’re supposed to believe without actually believing it.

Maybe that’s just my own experience but many of the challenges to my faith over the last few years have made it really clear that my head and my heart do not actually buy in to what my mouth is saying. But my mouth has got so good at it, that my head and my heart are actually fooled until the moment comes when that belief is tested.

Well, this last few weeks I’ve been challenged again. It is one of the easiest church clichés to say “God will provide”. It rolls of the tongue very simply. And on some level I definitely believe that God does not call us to anything without equipping us with everything we need to fulfil that command (might not be what we think we need of course).

But do I truly believe he really does provide?

A very good friend of mine has run out of funds to finish his studies. I and other good friends truly believe that he is right where God wants him to be at this time and so we committed last week to helping him find the rest of the financial support he needs to stay.

Can I admit I wasn’t sure we’d be successful? Why is that? Somehow my belief that God would provide was not kicking in.

In amazing proof that God loves the look on my face when he proves me wrong, there has been an incredibly generous response to my friend’s need.

Which shouldn’t surprise me, but it does.

Often I would mention it to people, who I had judged as not being currently in a position to be able to give, and they turned round and were the most generous of all.

Which again, shouldn’t surprise me, but did you hear my chin hitting the floor?

We haven’t quite found all the support we need yet, but after this week, I am hopefully a little more trusting and a little less doubting…

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

– Jesus, Matthew 6:30-33, The Message