Saturday, January 30, 2016

Through the Eyes of a Child

This week, I learned a lesson from a second grader in my mom's 
Wednesday night Ignite group in the United States.

I received a SnapChat from her Wednesday night (yes, my mom SnapChats) that said, "Asher brought you $10" and my reply was, "What?" 

The next day we FaceTimed, where long story short she explained that Asher had been given $20 by his grandparents and had been thinking for almost a month about what he wanted to buy, and through a series of sermons on giving by our pastor at home and one perfectly timed Wednesday night lesson on how God provides for our needs, with my mom using me as an example, Asher decided he wanted to put $10 in the offering plate and give $10 to me (and so, if you're not-so-great at math, $10 + $10 = $20 = $0 left over for Asher). 

And I thought about how as a child, we rely on our parents to provide for all of our needs. As children, we don't feel the need to save up "for a rainy day." We know that our parents will always provide for us. So I just wondered, when does that stop? When do we have that not-so-magical moment where we decide we must start collecting and storing up and providing for ourselves?

Jesus says, "Truly , I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3) I can't help but think that part of that is a child's attitude on where their provision comes from. Asher, and most other children, know that their parents will provide, and "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:11) Why don't we, as adults, always trust God to provide? 

You would think, as a missionary who has to raise all her support to live here 10 months out of the year, I would have a check mark next to this life lesson. Have I seen God provide for me? Of course I have. I couldn't be here if He didn't. But I also fall back into the "storing up" mindset to often. 

When I came here with all the money people had freely donated to me, I was really worried about being a good steward. It was crazy to me that all these people had trusted me with some amount of money, and I wanted to be sure I was honoring that. No one was asking me to give an account of my spending, but I still thought about it almost every time I took out my wallet. Even though it had been given to me, I still didn't see that money as "mine."

I was also convicted last year when a conversation came up here about tithing. You know the good "church definition": giving of your time, talents, and resources. In my mind, I was already giving of my time and talents by being here and teaching, but the resources (i.e. money) that were given to me were to be used for my living here. That was the reason it had been given to me. But this was revealed to me as a part of my "storing up" mindset. I was still supposed to give away the 10%, and trust God to still provide what I needed. And that is what I have done this year. If you support me financially, part of your gift has also benefited another ministry or missionary.

So anyways, thank you Asher, for reminding me of this lesson that needs constant reinforcement. My God is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who Provides.

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