Sunday, October 31, 2010

Journey · the beautiful fight: kingly purses

I used to measure our “wealth” based on the numbers I saw in our bank account. I measure very differently today. I am writing this on the eve of the anniversary of the biggest explosion of generosity and true wealth into my life — and it had almost nothing to do with money.

My husband and I received some unexpected and devastating news that radically shifted our lives, and redefined everything we thought important or valuable. We suddenly had to learn to refocus our eyes and hearts in order to see what remained when it felt like so much was being taken.

Looking back, I can clearly see now, that while God was removing he was also rebuilding. By placing us on the receiving end of people’s abundant generosity and kindness, he revealed to us the priceless value of our faith and community as well as his definition of true riches.

Through our experience, God entrusted us with other people’s stories, friendships and resources. We know we were not the only ones dealing with difficult circumstances during this past year. We humbly acknowledge that the benefits we reaped were purely thanks to people giving generously to us, both through and in spite of their own personal and financial struggles. As a result we remain beyond grateful.

Speaking from experience, it is easy to get caught in the mindset of “it’s not my problem” or “I don’t know what to do” or “my efforts really won’t make that big of a difference.” However, as a recent beneficiary of so many people’s generosity even when it was both financially and emotionally costly, I’m here to tell you it does make a difference — even the small things. While some people know our faces and our story, many do not. However, I know for certain that there are scores more like us out there — hurting, broken, sad, alone and afraid. There are many people with stories like ours, people with broken hearts searching for healing...people desperate for good news in the middle of their storms. I know we are not the only ones.

God entrusts us with our stories and reminds us that not only is all not lost, but by giving, serving and loving beyond what feels safe, we can be a part of how God shows up in the life of someone needing to be found. Our God specializes in ministering to the hurting and brokenhearted through the lives and hearts of his people. While he is fully capable of healing and working miracles on his own, he chooses to involve us in his work and the story he is telling. He longs for us to experience the risk of giving — of ourselves, our time, our talents and our treasure — more than we think is possible. He wants to give us the reward of receiving more than we believe we could ever possibly deserve. He is the giver of true riches, which are often radically different than what we see in our bank accounts, and of much greater value. He promises to bless us, only we must simply give in order to receive.

“The real measure of our wealth is how much we should be worth if we lost our money.”

~ J. H. Jowett

§ If you are interested:  click here for The Journey in Word format and click here for the Journey in PDF format. For more resources, feel free to visit the Journey Devotional page by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this reminder of what really counts in this life. yes - You have learnt the hard way and Yes - We appreciate the fragrance of the life of your family.