Sacrifice and Trust

I get so excited whenever someone donates to our adoption fund… it makes me feel one step closer to hugging Erika and Ilya. Seriously. I feel that way each time I drop something adoption related in the mail, too. I also know what it’s like to donate, especially when times are hard. It can be so bittersweet… when I donate $20, I am well aware that $20 could have bought me a meal out to eat. Sometimes it’s a lot more than that…

A couple of months ago, I read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I read the book in two sittings and I loved it so much that half way through, I ordered my mom a copy. Shortly after I finished it, our small group was looking for a new study, and I felt strongly Crazy Love should be our study. It’s just THAT good. There is one part which really stuck in my mind…

We get an incredible promise from God: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows,'”

This is the only place in the Bible where God invites His people to test Him, to try to out-give Him. He knows it is impossible, that no one can out-give the One from whom all things come. God knows people will realized that “we have given you only what comes from your hand” (1 Chron. 29:14). Nothing that strengthed my faith more than seeing God bless what I give back to Him, what I surrender at His feed.

If you really want to experience God’s supernatural provision, then do as He says. Test Him. Give more than you can manage, and see how He responds.

(page 109-10)

That’s just a short part of this chapter, but it really stood out in my mind. Why? Because, I think that most of us plan, we know how much we can give. You know, Dave Ramsey taught us to put $1000 toward our mortgage, $600 for groceries, $500 for our car payments, blah, blah, blah. So the very idea of giving more than we can manage? Crazy. But, it’s beautiful too. The idea that God provides what we NEED. Maybe not everything we want, but all that we need. And, the idea that we can give up things that we want but don’t need, and help someone else out who desperately needs it. That $20 meal I didn’t eat? Means that someone else can have clean water for 20 YEARS. Those of you who have so generously sacrificed something to donate to bring Erika and Ilya home? You are helping give them a family! The other thing that I’ve learned in this whole process, of giving more than I can manage and also sacrificing things I don’t need? I really DON’T need them, and I don’t really want them that much either.

To really drive the point home, for those of you who know me well, one of the things I’ve given up as a challenge to myself, as well as just to understand what it’s like to sacrifice something that I really loved, something that was a part of my routine, I gave up Diet Sunkist. I apologize if you don’t know what a big deal that is, but let’s just say I was an addict…

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