When God commands the Hebrews to remember the poor He says, “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do” (Deut. 15:10) God promises that if His followers will remember the poor, He will personally guarantee their blessing.
To close this train of thought on justice, the poor, and generosity in my last 3 posts, let me give two examples from our journey with God, how His promise of “blessing for giving” was experienced by us .
An Early Lesson in God’s Generosity & Provision
When Sheri and I started out in ministry training — hey, this goes back to our second year of marriage in Urbana, IL in 1970 — we had very little money. We were both working part-time jobs and involved in ministry training during the remaining time we had.
Another couple on our “training team” was in the same boat economically and especially needing food to eat. So, applying our understanding of giving, we went to our pantry and packed a bag of food for them. This included one box of cereal, two loaves of bread, a bottle of catsup, and some pickles. What were we thinking? I suppose a pickle sandwich would provide sustenance, but that’s all we had to give.
We drove to their home at night; placed the bag on their porch; rang their doorbell; ran back to the car and drove off. The next day we heard their “testimony” of the Lord’s provision of food for them. We smiled and felt good about our quiet and unknown part in it. It’s personally rewarding to be the hands and feet of God in specific situations, isn’t it?
That following Sunday night, a knock came on our door. In walked a team member of ours who was on a campout all weekend with students. They had food left over and wanted to give it to us. The bags were unloaded on our kitchen table, and to our shock and surprise there were two boxes of cereal, several loaves of bread, two bottles of catsup and some pickles, along with a few other items.
Friends — this promise was kept by the Lord, and through the experience He taught us a lesson: Be Generous and He will Provide! He gave us back in abundance everything we gave along with other food as well!
One more incident from our life in February 2014.
Sheri and I flew to Florida to visit my Dad who’s 96 years old, visit some siblings, and find a stable place to stay for a couple weeks on the coast so Sheri could do therapy on her leg. She broke her kneecap just prior to Christmas and was in therapy during our Florida time. Because of the knee and therapy issues, we had to cancel a ministry trip to visit our Costa Rica Oasis and staff there but decided to stay longer in Florida.
So for one of those Florida weeks we sought a Condo on the Ocean where we could rest and do therapy. It was high-season in Florida and finding a condo for a week was a difficult proposition. However we finally nailed one down on the East Coast, called the Ocean View Resort in New Smyrna Beach, FL.
At check in, I asked where the facility was located, since several buildings were facing us. The Receptionist pointed down the road to one and said, “That’s it.” I thought, “Okay, it’s on this road behind another building, and we won’t have ocean view. But then, we’re here to rest anyway.”
Imagine our surprise as we drove over to find our place. Out of 7 Condos in the complex, ours was on the ground floor, front side, directly staring the ocean in the face only 50 years away. Out of those 7 condos we could NOT have had a more ideal one for beauty, refreshment and care for Sheri’s knee.
As we took this all in and enjoyed it for the week, we could only thank the Lord for His provision. We didn’t deserve that. We didn’t book that specifically. We could have been in a unit without Ocean view or on the second floor, more difficult for Sheri. No! Out of all 7 units, we had the most IDEAL UNIT for us at this time for rest, refreshment, and blessing. God stands behind His promises. He does what He says He will do, and He’ll do it in His way and in His timing!
So let’s continue to be generous with what He’s given, and He promises to bless! And isn’t it exciting to have that blessing show up at in-opportune times in our lives!