This has been a blessed week of peace. It has been a long time since I have enjoyed the peace of God’s presence such as I have this past week. And in blessing me, I believe He blessed all those around me (who had to put up with my most cheery and happy self all week long)
God gave me a wonderful gift of understanding this week. A friend of mine paid me a surprise visit at work this week with his exuberant, rather large puppy and his precocious but painfully shy three year old son. While enjoying the rare gift of the attention of a very energetic and loving dog (I’m not permitted to have pets in my apartment complex) I reassured the little boy that he was safe and didn’t need to worry about not talking to me and hiding in the corner. I told him I was happy he had come to visit from eight feet away while I receive a ton of affection from the dog. They stayed only a few moments and when they were leaving, my little friend made sure I saw him (standing a safe distance away in the hall) waving good-bye to me. His smile and that first step toward trust filled me with great joy. Later as I was going over the memory, I realized how much like that little boy I was, and sometimes still am, with God – hiding away in a corner obviously very unsure, insecure and fearful. God doesn’t scare me by “rushing over, picking me up and squeezing the stuffing out of me” – he is patient and understanding. He gets down to my level and in a soothing tone lets me know that he’s not mad at me for hiding and is just happy I am there with him. He lets me reach out to him at my own pace. What a patient, loving God we have!
If you recall in October, I talked about how one of the areas in my life that I have been pretty stingy about and keeping away from God was with my finances. Suffice it to say that, like too many Americans, while I am rich in the eyes of most of the world, I’m sometimes wondering how I’m going to get by until payday. While I was giving a token gift to my church, I felt God was calling me to trust him and not my balance sheet in my giving this year. When I asked the Lord how much I should give, I became convinced he wanted me to double my current giving – half to my church and half to anti-human trafficking organization. So in November, I prepared 2013 monthly budget to do just that. Now in my heart I felt that “twice nothing is still nothing” – yet doubling my charity was as bold a first step as I could take. Still I remember saying to God that I wish I could do more. Now the next part is going to sound like a really cheesy commercial… In the beginning of January, I was contacted by my insurance agent and told that by updating my policy, they could save me some money!! I laughed when I realized later that God had heard my wish and provided a little more than double my new charity amount. After prayer, courage, desire, discernment, and God’s abundant blessing, I am now happily resolved in giving more than 4x the amount of charity my balance sheet permitted me to give last year. I pray I am faithful in my giving.