This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Generous Grace

>> Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I had an encounter with the Lord today that was so profound, I just have to shout it from the rooftops (or the blog-tops, as it were). The problem is, some of the details have to remain vague for the time being (for reasons that will become crystal clear once they no longer need to be vague). So bear with me. I have thought about not posting this at all, but it's just too good. I can't keep it to myself.

I learned something new about God today. Not anything I hadn't already learned in a church pew or in a Bible study, but today I actually experienced it first-hand, so it became real to me. Since Mark and I made the leap to single-income status a few years ago, I have gone through seasons of faithfulness and faithlessness regarding our finances. It's a pattern I repeat all too often and it's my biggest struggle with the Lord. I am faithful with my tithing and a good steward of what's left for awhile until something shakes my faith and I withhold our tithe. Or maybe nothing shakes my faith. Maybe I just really want a Wii (no...I haven't bought a Wii, but that would be a good example of something I might blow a tithe check on in a fit of impulsive buying). Then I feel horrible, and a wall is built between the Lord and I. Let me clarify. He does not build the wall....I do. I am riddled with guilt and let it eat at me. I finally come to my senses and realize I am forgiven and His mercy is new for me every morning, and our relationship is restored. Until it happens again.

Reading that back, I'm convicted with how ridiculous a cycle that is. I wish it were different. We're working on it.

So needless to say the fact that Mark and I live on a fairly tight budget is something I wear the weight of squarely on my shoulders. I do not begin to ask my God for a lot when I have not been faithful with little. So when Mark recently shared with me the news that a dream of ours may be coming true, I was dubious. I didn't want to get my hopes up. I loved the idea of it, but I was hesitant to believe for one minute that God would bless us in that way. I hadn't earned it.

Did you catch that? I hadn't earned it.

And I told God as much. I shared with Him that my heart was breaking because this was something Mark and the kids deserved, but I didn't. My poor choices were keeping us from moving forward and it was unfair to them. My heart was so heavy as I begged the Lord to overlook the fact that I had did not deserve this blessing.

And the Lord spoke to me. Loud and clear to my heart....

"Remind Me again which blessings you ever deserved?"

Ouch.

How could I have been so short-sighted? Don't get me wrong. I need to work on my stewardship and I need to obey Him. But those things have nothing to do with His grace. Not only that, but during my quiet time the Lord shared with me that it could be this very attitude of mine that is inspiring Him to be so generous. So that I am painfully, horribly, wonderfully aware that I did NOTHING to deserve His favor. If He works this all out for us, it is because He wants to, and it is to His glory. Not because I have "met the requirements". As I sat in my living room, in the same corner of the same couch I always have my quiet time on, I was awestruck.

Our God is so generous, it's staggering. If only I could remember that all of the time.

2 comments:

taralous June 10, 2008 at 6:10 PM  

Amen! What a great post. I can relate and often feel why have we been blessed so much when I have done such a bad job of being the right 'daughter' of the Lord. But you are right I deserve NONE of it yet it's His grace and love that pour it out to us. Makes you wanna really wanna praise Him huh? And give back! Thanks for sharing!

MInTheGap June 12, 2008 at 3:43 AM  

One of the great things about God is that when you give up control to Him, He blesses.

We've done the Dave Ramsey thing and got out of our debt and were happy to not have any credit cards lying around, and yet things had been tight for a pretty long time.

Then, out of the blue, God chooses to provide a way for me to negotiate a promotion, and things become far from tight.

He's amazing like that-- make sure that you keep track of this as a milestone in your relationship with God, and keep doing whatever it is He last told you to do until He has your next assignment!

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