All this week I have had such a challenge trying to budget for Christmas! I know that I am not the only one who struggles year after year with this issue! I am a giver but if left up to me, I’d be liable to give away the ranch–well, at least the monthly mortgage money to pay for our ranch-style home! It’s a good thing my husband is my check and balance this time of year!
With my allotted spending money in hand, I have been wrestling with the commercialism of Christmas– who gets what, should we draw names or just exchange a unisex-gender gift for each family member? By the time we compromise on what we can really afford, we might as well keep our money because it seems we all have enough blanket-throws, candles and fancy wrapped boxes of chocolates than we really need. Boiling it all down to what we can afford, it seems that we have come to the place that generic Christmas gifts are what is expected to work for those who wish to participate in the Morrow family gift exchange this year. I can’t say that I like it but that seems to be what everyone can agree on and afford.
This dilemma of generic gifts vs. the spirit of Christmas got me thinking on a deeper level. Lord, we already have enough “stuff!” When we give more “stuff” to those who already have too much “stuff” oozing out of their garages and cubby holes in their houses, how is that a blessing? Lord, what blesses your heart?
This was His reply-“Give out of your lack-rather than your increase!”
Give out of my lack? How do I give that which I do not possess? Then I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9 when Paul was speaking of the Lord, “And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I would rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then I am strong!” (NKJV) Jesus makes up the difference of our lack! After doing a bit of research on the internet, I stumbled upon this story that drove home the point that the Lord was making.
“Sarah was on her way to work when she decided to make a quick stop at the gas station. She had less than 1/8 of a tank of gas and only $15 to put in toward filling it up until her husband would get paid again. As she got out of her car, she was suddenly approached, by a woman who asked her for a dollar to put with her already $4 toward gas. Sarah agreed to not only giving her the dollar but to give her an additional four dollars to put into the women’s gas tank.
After pre-paying for both of their gas, Sarah proceeded to fill her tank with $10 worth of gas. She noticed that the gas pump reading was moving extremely slowly. It felt like she had been standing there, in the freezing cold, forever! She buzzed the cashier about the problem in which he unpleasantly responded that he had no control of the speed of the pump.
All of a sudden, the pump just stopped. The gas reading stated $2 and some change. She proceeded to press the handle again and the gas began to spill over. What was going on? The gas meter read that there was only $2.83 worth of gas in her tank. She got in her car and turned the key–the gas gage was on “F.” Her tank was FULL!
Wanting to do the right thing, Sarah made her way into the station to inform the cashier there was a mistake. She shouldn’t have received a full tank for such a mere amount of money. After explaining this to the cashier, he proceeded in giving her the remaining amount that she did not use. He stated that by law he was required to go by the gas reading rather than her statement.
God truly works in mysterious ways! You see, Sarah wasn’t thinking about herself when she paid that small amount of money for the stranger that day. I’m sure she could have used that extra money herself. But one thing is sure; God saw Sarah’s heart that day. When you give out of your lack–God takes notice!
Jesus stood watching as people placed their offerings into the temple treasury. Many rich threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.” They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty put in everything-all she had to live on. (Mark 12:43-44) you see it wasn’t the large amount of money that caught Jesus’ attention; it wasn’t even necessarily the small amount. It was the sacrifice of the widow that struck Jesus. This woman gave out of her lack. She was poor and a widow; the lowest you could possibly be according to the standard of the day. She didn’t have a husband to support her and I’m sure she could have made good use for those two mites, but she chose to honor God. I can guarantee that God took care of that widow. It is not the amount you give, but more so the state of your heart when you give.” (m.voices.yahoo.com/giving-pure-heart-5202433.html)
Give out of your lack instead of your increase! The rich gave out of their abundance; the widow- giving out of her love for God gave all that she had to give. The widow gave out of her lack!
If you’re willing, ask yourself:
- What do you lack? What are your biggest weaknesses?
- Are you willing to learn to give from a deeper level of trust in Father-God?
- Are you ready to give from your lack and believe God to take up the slack?
Perhaps you don’t lack financial provision; perhaps your struggle is perfectionism? Or maybe you are challenged with workaholism? Take a few minutes to do a personal assessment of your heart and ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas that you lack and what ways you can use those areas to bless His heart!
Father-God, thank you for loving me for who I am, through the blood of your precious son-Jesus. Thank you for loving me so much that you want to enable me to receive even more of your love in my life! Holy Spirit thank you for speaking to me and showing me areas that I still need the love of Father to be poured into my heart! I give you total permission to add, delete, and to rearrange anything that you need to within me, in order to teach me how to love more like Jesus! Please give me eyes to see and ears to hear your voice clearly. I pray that you would increase my understanding and open my heart to receive your revelation knowledge. Holy Spirit, thank you for helping me to live an abundant life that is victorious and that runs fervently after the ways of The Lord-Jesus! I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!!!