“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him” I John 3:1 (NIV).
For much of this year, my family has been tightening our financial belt. We have learned how to live with less and are realizing what’s nonnegotiable in our budget and what we can do without. As a result, both of our parents have taken pity on us more than once and invited us out for lunch or dinner, always with the words, “Please come…it’s our treat.” In addition, there’ve been times they’ve brought us something they knew we wanted but wouldn’t buy for ourselves. It’s always been a pleasure to accept their generosity, although a part of me feels guilty for not paying our own way. I feel sometimes like I’m “mooching from them,” even though I haven’t asked, expected, or demanded.
Fast forward to payday, which occurs for us, as in most households, twice a month. As is my habit, I sit down and pray first, asking God to bless the money He provided and to give me wisdom in how He wants it spent. One particular week, God blessed us with a little extra. After rechecking the numbers a few times, my gut reaction was fear. I was happy, but I truly wanted to make sure I was being wise with what God had provided and didn’t know how He wanted it spent. I set a little extra aside to work on our debt, and then was relieved since this particular shopping trip was going to be bigger than usual. We had two birthdays, a party, and some extra essentials that were needed in addition to our usual grocery items.
The next morning I woke up, prayed again for God to give me wisdom in how I spent our money and then set about going to the store. I had to stop for gas and knew I should fill it up since I had a lot of driving ahead. Again, I started to panic. Then it hit me. This was my Father! He had blessed us with extra money and despite being thankful for His provisions, I was acting in fear. Is that the way God would want me to react? Is that the way my parents or my in-laws would want us to react to a gift they graciously gave us? Is that the way I would want my children to react to something I lovingly provided.
Come back next time and find out what my response ended up being.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell