What does the Generous December campaign mean for me? Andrew emailed me a couple weeks ago for us to think about this and put to words how it excites us, how we decided what to give, or the great things we personally see the generous giving of our church enabling those we love and support around the world to do. But to be honest I kind of cringed and then I came up with a list of excuses as to why if I just ignore the email someone else would step up. But then I was reminded from Hosea 13:6, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied they became proud; then they forgot me.” This was and is a total heart check for me.
For the past five Christmas’ Bobby and I gave out of what little we had. It was easy to see how generosity was sacrificial for us because any extra spending really strained our finances. Coupled with paying HOAs, traveling for the holiday to be with family, and lurking tuition that was due in January we were stretched thin but trusted the Lord to continue to provide, and boy did he! He “fed” us over those years through so many friends and our family, even some of the most unbelievably timed blessings like the returned undergrad money 3 years after graduating just in time to pay taxes! Over five years that sequence in Hosea played out; we were fed, satisfied, proud, and then forgot to praise the gift giver, God.
This year we are determined not to forget all the Lord has done over the course of our marriage, that even in time of feast we would find an amount to give that is still just as sacrificial for us. We are grateful that as a church we are giving to bless dear friends serving abroad and to support a church plant that has a common vision of reaching people here in the US, that through these different means we are equipping and encouraging those who are also taking the Gospel to the nations. But for us it also a time to check our hearts, to honestly check our lifestyle and to say how can we continue to praise the Lord for his provision through generously giving to his mission of restoring those from every tribe and nation to himself.