Is God as Generous as You Think?
One early May evening about fifteen years ago, I sat in Target under a large gazebo in one of the lawn chairs set out for display. I was mentally rehearsing the reasons why purchasing the gazebo made sense:
were about to throw a huge, mostly outdoor party and needed some shade for our guests;
the Hubs and I always wanted to spend more time in our yard (beyond working on it) and surely we would eat more meals and enjoy more time outside if we had this gazebo.
we had the money for it.
On and on my list went – it was my armory, really – my stockpile of reasons against what I was sure the Hubs had in his armory: a stockpile of responsibility and minimalism (and not the cool kind of minimalism we have now – the bare bones, cheap kind).
As the Hubs poked around at reading about the construction and boring, yet essential things like that, I began to recite my list aloud. I had barely begun when he cut me off and said, “Let’s get it!” I literally began to cry. Yep. Right there in Target in the garden section. Then a weird thing happened: We switched armories. “You don’t think it’s too extravagant?” I asked. “It’s a really big one. They have smaller ones,” I added.
“No, Ami,” came his gentle reply. “This is the one that will serve our needs best.”
My husband’s generosity shocked me that day. I was completely unprepared for it, though he’d given me no reason to ever think he’d be ungenerous. But the baggage I carried told me to not anticipate generosity. And as I sat there with tears in my eyes, the Holy Spirit was showing me how much like God my husband was being in that moment and how little I expected generosity from my Abba.
We have such a generous God. It was a hard concept for me to wrap my head around back then and I still occasionally revert to old thinking patterns and have to remind myself that I have an incredibly generous Father in God. I could usually manage to comprehend His generosity intellectually – it’s a fact I knew about Him – but knowing it enough to translate into my every day, knee-jerk expectancy was a level I hadn’t come to yet. And although I knew God desired to be generous to the people around me, it seemed harder to grasp that He wanted to be generous to me. Thankfully, that kind of poverty mindset that sees God as stingy is far from my thinking now.
When we go to God with our needs, we need to be able to see that He’s the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), the God who tells us that we should ask so that we will receive because He wants us to have joy (John 16:24), the God who says to a son who refuses to see His generous nature, “All that is mine is yours” (Luke 15:31)!
Blessings come to bless us! God is a Giver who loves to see His children enjoying the blessings He gives. We are also blessed so that we can be a source of overflow to others, to splash out onto those around us what God is pouring into us. And although this doesn’t mean there will never be times when we don’t struggle financially or have to scrimp to make ends meet, it means that even in those times, we are witnesses to God’s generosity and are able to splash out on others. Looking back, I can see God’s generosity even in tighter times. I’m not sure I saw it as well then because my eyes weren’t tuned to see abundance; they were much more apt to see want.
Lord, tune our eyes to see Your generous heart. Make us reflections of Your generosity.
“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." (Matthew 21:22)