Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thimbleful of Blessing

Luke 6:38a"Give, and it will be given to you. A large quantity, pressed together, shaken down, and running over will be put into your lap..."

I have always loved the verse above. I love the imagery of sitting cross-legged with a container of something (dry) that just keeps coming and coming and has filled the container, then my lap then starts to fall on the floor. It reminds me (in a visual, not direct sort of way) of the slot machines that pour out money when you hit the jackpot and the quarters go everywhere.

I had an "aha!" moment the other day that went with this verse. I was in the car with the kids and they were listening to a tape of Bible stories. One of those was the widow who was in debt and came to Elisha for help (2 Kings 4). Her husband had died and they couldn't pay the debts so the creditor was going to take her two sons. Elisha asks her what she has at home. She responds that she has a little oil. So he tells her to go borrow jars from her neighbors and "not a few". The oil in her jar fills all the other jars and she sells it to pay her debt and lives on the rest.

The question that ran across my mind as I was listening to this was: If I were in that situation, how many jars would I have borrowed? Because, really, there was a risk. I could look silly or nothing could happen. Would I be willing to knock on doors all over town to get a lot or would I just borrow the neighbor's measuring cup? The amount of blessing the widow received was directly related to her faith in the situation. The oil ran until every jar was filled then it stopped. In my life, do I miss the big-ness of some of God's blessings because my faith limits the outcome? Do I come to God with a prayer and a thimble asking him to fill it to overflowing?

And, there is a risk. What if I ask for big things or to see God move in big ways and don't get it? I trust that God is good and that he can give overflowing into my lap--but that doesn't mean he always will. There's a risk to ask and be told "no", "not now" or "yes, but not how you envision it". The risk really is in the trust that God is who he says he is and will do things in his time and for my good.

That's hard. But I'm practicing. Practicing my posture of opening my arms wide and saying, "Gimme! Gimme more of you, God. Gimme more evidence of your Spirit working in me. Gimme more wisdom and power as I interact with the non-believers around me. Show me your blessings and your work!" Then, I wait. Wait knowing that God is good, that relationship with him is worth the risk, that he has bigger things planned for me than I could ever imagine.

1Co 2:9 But as Scripture says: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him."

No comments: