Thursday, December 8, 2011

This crazy kind of love...

Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love, came and spoke at church last month shortly before Thanksgiving.

He spoke on giving, from what God has given us, to show people the crazy love that God has for them.  I sat there inspired, and yet a little irritated.

Let me explain.

Here's this guy who is a renowned speaker, author and pastor.  He has money.  And he's able to do these amazing things for people...absolutely amazing things.  I found myself sitting in my chair thinking, "I would do those amazing things too if I had money like that."

And then I was reminded, in the stillness of that moment, of the story where the master gave his three servants money.  He gave one a bunch, one a reasonable amount, and one just a bit.  The man with a bunch multiplied his money as did the one with the reasonable amount.  But the one with just a bit, he just buried his money.  He did nothing with it.

This last year with all the financial struggles my family has gone through with this economy, I feel like I've been wrestling with God to give me more.  I feel like that third servant who has been so afraid to do anything with what God has given me in fear of squandering what I have.  I've struggled with my comfort, and allowing my desire for comfort to come before my service to God.

As I continued listening to Francis, I realized that I have been called to be faithful with what God has given me. No, we haven't been given tons of money.  But we have been given enough, and I was determined to use it to show others God's love.

So, on Thanksgiving the kids and I delivered cookies and brownies to firefighters, police officers and nurses who had to work on Thanksgiving instead of spending it with their families.  I decided to do this, because God has given me food - and the ability to bake.  And maybe, possibly, a warm cookie (and I must say my cookies are quite good) by a kind stranger might make their hearts softer towards the Lord.  I don't know, but I felt like it's what I could do - and so I obeyed.  And it was the most amazing Thanksgiving I have ever had.

Since then, my husband's job has become more in jeopardy as it looks like his company will be going out of business soon. My husband has also started getting sick again with a chronic illness that is very unpredictable.  And just a few weeks before Christmas.

Oh that comfort.  How my flesh so badly wants to grab whatever tangible thing I can and hold onto it for dear life.  But really, right now, the tangible things aren't seeming as important anymore.  The things I can't touch are what's seeming priceless - and even though my flesh is scared, I'm so amazed at God's crazy, crazy, CRAZY love for me, and I find peace in that.

People who I hardly know are calling me to minister to my family in ways that I haven't even spoken a need. My husband and I have had many moments the last few days where we just look at each other speechless on how God is providing for us.

And I know we are going to be ok.

And it makes me want to give from what God has given me.  I want to multiply what I have by giving it away.  I want so badly to be a good steward of what is in me that it is burning inside me.

So what does that look like for me?

You know that Christmas song, "The Little Drummer boy?"  There is a part where it says, "I'm just a poor boy too, I have no gift to bring that's fit to give the King, shall I play for you on my drum?"
God gave him the gift of music - and so he gave...

God gave me the ability to bake.  So I will give.

He's given me the ability to be kind.  So I will give.

He's given me hope.  So I will give.

He's given me love.  So I will give.

He has given me everything that I need - so I will give...and it may just be a smile, or an encouraging word, or a plate of cookies.  It may be a small gift, or a ride to a doctors appointment, or a warm meal.  But I can give - so that others can experience a taste of God's crazy love for them, because I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good and that He loves me, in a crazy kind of way.