“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:8 (NIV)
The older I get, the more I realize the truth behind the principle that what you sow, you will reap. If you sow generously, you will reap generously. If you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly. (II Corinthians 9:6) And if you sow with a thankful, generous heart, you will be blessed generously as well.
Our family has been blessed multiple times over. I have found that when we choose to unselfishly give to others, we receive tenfold in return. We don’t give for that purpose, to be given back more, but I find that it always seems to happen.
Years ago, when our middle child was around preschool age, we thought our family was complete. A friend of mine had a little boy and so we chose to bless her with things we had. While I truly wanted to bless her, there as a part of me that had a hard time letting go. Not because I didn’t want her to have the “stuff” we had been blessed with, but because of the memories of such a sweet time in our family was over and I felt like I was giving up the memories along with the material items. I had a harder time letting go of that age than I did of the clothes that represented it. Another aspect, I think, that played a part in the difficulty of letting go was subconsciously I wouldn’t have minded if God continued to bless our home with more children. I wanted to keep little ones around…but that wasn’t the plan for our family, at least not then and so while I obeyed, I was still a little sad.
Fast forward four years and a miscarriage later. I was “planned by God” pregnant and we had no baby paraphernalia left. This particular friend out gave what we had given her and continues to out give us today. We also have another friend who has out given us time and again…between the two of them, I think they singlehandedly supplied our littlest with more and better than we could have ever dreamed possible.
Fast forward to this spring. We were cleaning out our clothes and we had boys and girls clothes (along with some toys and books) that needed to go. I am perfectly content with the size of our family now and so giving away comes much easier. I’m also wiser and realize just because the clothes aren’t in the house, the memories remain in my heart. God whispered the name of a friend on my heart and coincidently, she was coming for a visit the next day. As I ushered the clothes, toys, and other things into her car, not two hours later my dear friend from above called and asked if she could drop “a few things off” for us. What we had just given away was returned to us tenfold in bigger sizes and more appropriate aged toys.
Two months after that, God placed another lady into our lives. During a casual conversation we were having, He whispered on my heart to give her a specific baby item we had. It was practically brand new and a gift so I had originally thought about keeping it to use for grandkids, many years from now. However, God said, “she needs it more than you do. Give it to her.” So I did. The very next day my parents took us on a shopping spree and blessed us with clothes for my husband and I that were so needed and not in our budget at this time.
While God doesn’t always work that fast, I have found for me that the sooner I obey His whispers, exactly as He asks and not my version of obedience, He does bless that obedience in ways that are greater than I could ever imagine.
Is there something God is asking of you? I don’t always get it right, but I do try and follow as closely as possible to what He is asking of me. Not because I know He will reward me, not looking for the reward, but always with the confidence that He will supply all our needs. And, it’s really fun to know that I’m in God’s inner circle and He loves me enough to invite me to be part of blessing others.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015