Giving Part 2
I forgot to write the best part I have learned about giving. Usually the Lord gives back! We should be generous in our giving, remembering that the Lord is our great provider. Of course, I have an incredible, personal story that I would love to share right now about how the Lord provides.
So it is Novemberish, 2009. My parents made me buy a new car, so I have a car payment, and I work 15 hours a week on minimum wage, so I am broke (but of course still a happy person). One day I was reading my Bible at Concordia in a lounge, and one of my international friends sits by me and asks to see my Bible. He looks at it for a while and then asks where he can get that Bible. Of course it is my expensive Bible that I got for Christmas, the Life Application study Bible, and I am semi-super attached to it, so I didn’t give it to him, but I promised I would get one for him. I didn’t want to tell him where to get it because I know those Bibles are like 50 dollars and I know he would never buy a 50 dollar Bible. Oh, 3 weeks prior to this occurrence, I got a 140 dollar speeding ticket (new car). I had to pay that ticket by like the end of December or something. I did not have 140 extra dollars. Then, in early December, I was at a Christian bookstore with one of my girls from Bible study, helping her pick out a study Bible. So there I was, next to all the beautiful expensive study Bibles, and my international friend’s face keeps pressing into my conscience. So, I buy the Bible for him. I decided that I simply will not buy groceries in the month of December. No big deal. I figured I had enough oatmeal and cereal to get me through. So I give the Bible to my friend, happy day, and am praying that my bank statement doesn’t go under from the Bible, and am still wondering how I am going to pay off my ticket. I figured I would have to borrow money from my parents, which is my LEAST favorite thing to do.
I clearly remember praying, “God, people do not give 20 year old girls in college money, but please, tell someone to give me money”.
God is so good to me. Later that week I received an anonymous 50 dollar gift card to Wal-Mart. Okay now. I promise I did not tell anyone about my financial need, I felt too stupid to admit it. But look how He immediately gave back what I had given! And guess where I go grocery shopping? Yep. Wal-Mart. When I opened that, I started crying. I felt like it was God saying, “Rachel, I want you to eat this month”. See, when you give, He is faithful to provide!!
And He even gives more! Even though my speeding ticket was MY sin, He literally paid for it anyways. Also, in that same week, someone came up to me and told me that he told his parents what I was doing at Concordia (starting the Remedy), and they wanted to give me a Christmas present of money. I replied with “Oh that is so funny because I got a speeding ticket and I can’t pay for it. But I don’t want your parents to pay for my ticket.” Low and behold, a few days later, he gave me a envelope with 120 dollars in it. And then I cried again. First off, I felt like that was such a tangible example to me of God paying for my sin when I was so undeserving. Secondly, God really affirmed to me that He is in control, He knows what I need, and He is not going to leave me to rot, especially if I am trying to live a life with a giving heart.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”