In the month of August I spent twice my grocery budget, yeah that's right I spent double what I had allotted. Obviously I need to actually live within my budget better, find areas to make sacrifices, and my grocery budget is too low.
I began to look at the budget to find some extra money to move over to groceries and there wasn't money anywhere to cut. We long ago cut any real fat, no cable, cellphones from the 90's ;), eating out very little, own our cars, you get the picture there was nowhere to steal the money from. Until I noticed one column that seemed like it had extra, the column containing God's money.
I mean surely God wouldn't mind if I took some money out of that column, it's not like I live an extravagant life or anything. There are so many things I could buy to make our house nicer, to dress in clothes that would help me fit in better, to allow my children to see the world if I could just take some of the money God had asked for and give it back to me.
Luckily God has taught me time and again over the years that I can trust Him with my (ok His) money. He has asked us to set aside that amount of money for Him, not because He needs my money, but because it teaches me to store up my treasures in heaven not here on this earth, because it causes me to have to trust Him, because it allows me to see Him work in great and tangible ways.
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.I love this verse, I feel like it is one of my life verses, every time I read it I get emotional. It is so easy to think that God is not good, that if we give Him too much we will have less, but the truth I have seen in my life is the more I give Him the more I have. And, yes, I actually mean in part, the more I have financially, but it is a cycle that keeps repeating. More importantly the more faith I have, the more hope I have, the more I have been able to loosen my grip on the things of this world and pay attention to what really matters.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 3:8-12 (emphasis mine)
I love this story that a college student in our home church shared with us one evening. One summer he worked as a waiter making very little money, but felt God laying on his heart to give large amounts on Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning he would give the amount God had laid on his heart and then the next day at work He would make exactly the amount he had given in tips, the exact amount, every Monday, all summer long. I love the way God is not subtle!
So this month I'm waiting on the Lord to provide, I have been taught that His promises are true.