Finding God's Presence in Living Given

IF we should give or HOW MUCH we should give or HOW OFTEN we should give isn't what God is echoing in my heart right now, but instead WHY we should give. 

What is revealed about God in this call on us to pass forward what's been given to us? Is there a hidden secret that: the giving away of much is where we find the proof that is grace is hidden in the not enough? That when we live our lives given, we find God's presence even thicker and more palpable? Is it that His grace is found in the minuscule pieces that are left when we've given it all away?

In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul is discussing the topic of giving, continued from Chapter 8. He ends the chapter by saying:

As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given you. Thank God for THIS GIFT too wonderful for words! 2 Cor 9:13-15

THIS GIFT that Paul is speaking of here is not the actual physical, monetary gift, but the gift in sharing in the cycle of giving. What Paul describes is that when the Corinthians are generous, then the recipients will give glory to God and praise Him for this gift, and thusly pray for the Corinthians to be blessed because of their giving. Then God will continue to bless the Corinthians because of their generosity and the cycle will continue. He blesses those who steward his gifts well.

Blessings --> Generosity  ---> Glory  --> Prayer --> More Blessings --> More Generosity--> More Glory....

If our every need was met at all times, we would never experience insufficiency, which means we would never have the gift of experiencing the grace of God's sufficiency. 

We wouldn't give HIM GLORY. We would be robbed of the opportunity to share, to worship, to be his vessel.

We see Him, touch Him, breath Him in when we give to others-- whether it is what we typically think of in giving (like food, clothing, financial donations) OR whether it's the daily-grind-givennenss which can be more wearying than writing a check. When we give our heart, our attention, our time, our arms, our patience, our laughter. He is the Great Provider but He uses US to provide for others so that it all points back to HIM. He allows us to participate in his story of incomprehensible giving.

Today that might look like a donation to the food pantry. Tomorrow, it may look like changing the sheets three times in one night from a sick child or helping your ailing loved one use the bedpan. 

Our "not enough' is so overflowing with His grace that it pours over and points back to Him. Our God loves a good plot twist. He's always turning our expectations on their head. He's always a just-in-time, at-the-right-time God. He is a providing, fulfilling, refilling, redeeming God. Right at the bottom of the barrel when the last bit of oil and flour are used, he's a "fill it back up to the tip-top out of nowhere" God. 

There is beautiful, unbounded grace is not having enough and not being enough. It creates a need for COMMUNITY because our God created us to commune. And ultimately, we are created to point back to him through our giving, our worship, and our thankfulness.

So, yes... in the words of Paul- "this GIFT is too wonderful for words!"