Unconditional Giving

>> Thursday, December 1, 2011

I have tried to start this blog post for a month. I've actually written a few paragraphs and then given up because it did not convey the emotion I wanted or because I got off track, as I often do when writing. It's amazing to me how sometimes I feel like I could just sit and let words pour out and other times I just can not say what it is I am trying to say.

This week in our small group we did a session from "Five things God uses to Grow your Faith" by Andy Stanley. The lesson was about using "Private Disciplines" described as prayer, giving, or other 'acts of righteousness'  to honor God and build our relationship with him. The focus was how private disciplines benefit the people performing them, not those they give to, and that these disciplines will only bring us closer to God. The scripture references for this lesson referred to Matthew 6: 1-4, where Jesus teaches about giving to the needy.

Jesus says "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So, when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have already received their reward in full."

The study went on to explain that if you are rewarded by men for your good deeds, then you do not need God's reward. So, do not give to the needy when everyone can see and then praise your acts, instead do it in secret to get glory from God. (Now, I must add that I do not believe that this text has universal application. I believe that there will be times when we give to the needy even though we are visible to others, yet we are still giving with a pure heart and purpose. I also believe that there will be times when we receive praise for our acts of generosity from those around us, yet even still, God will provide us with his reward.)  

This week, God has shown us true giving in a way that I have never witnessed with my own eyes. I feel guilty when I say that out loud, because I do believe that Jesus died for our sins and I live each day knowing that his death was truly the ultimate gift. Yet, what I know and believe vs. what I witness with my own eyes are different. And what I see tends to impact by soul in a different way than those things I am taught. I know that God understands these muddled thoughts, which is why since the time of the disciples he has been creating acts on earth to help all of us who struggle to truly grasp without seeing. I should work on my guilt about this because I am pretty sure God never seemed to judge Thomas for wanting to touch the holes left in Jesus' hands. Regardless, I return to the point that God showed me his providence this week and then just in case I was doubting at all, he had me to attend a bible study to spell out his purpose!

Several weeks ago, we received a donation to help us grow our family. The gift came with a letter but no conversation was ever had with the giver about our infertility. That being said, the gift came with no conditions and no expectations. The only stated desire was to lessen the role of money in our decision making and to help us have the children "we deserve". I was speechless upon receiving this gift and I still struggle to find the words to give it justice.

I know that God is showing me that He will provide for us and that no obstacle is too big for His mighty works. I feel a renewed trust that the Lord has plans for us and I find myself feeling increasingly grateful that we have experienced this struggle with infertility. I know that sounds crazy but if I am honest I know that I needed something big to happen in order for me to truly surrender to God and realize he is in complete control. I pray that this road leads us to a life where we are parents but even if it doesn't, I know that this road has led us into a deeper relationship with our Lord, which will provide rewards and peace that will surpass anything I can imagine.

God is so good and I know He is preparing an incredible reward for that amazing soul who stepped out and blessed our family during this time of struggle.



Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
Franklin, TN

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A glimpse into my journey to grow my faith and my family. Each day I am trying to trust in God's plan for my life, while I struggle with my own desires for my career, my marriage, and my hope for a family.

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