Saturday, January 19, 2013
Love does not measure - it just gives." This quote from Mother Teresa has given me much to contemplate these past several days.
Last month I was praying for a need I had. I was praying for a way I could contribute to a mission at my church. It was something I deeply desired to contribute to but because of circumstances, I did not have the means to contribute - so I prayed specifically for this. I told NO ONE ELSE of this need.
My birthday was in December and my sister sent me a monetary gift "out of the blue". When I first received it my initial response was " I am not worthy of this gift." to which her response was "Don't be silly!" My sister did not measure my unworthiness, she just gave.
In my humanness, my next response was thinking of the myriad of ways it could be spent. While none of these things were wrong, I realized I was thinking in the flesh and not the Spirit -so I prayed. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, I recalled that I had been praying about a way to contribute to this special mission at church and here was God's answer right in front of me!! Giving to this need was far MORE needful!!! It was very clear to me to give this gift and I was and still am very, very thankful. My flesh told me not to re-purpose the gift. My spirit told me the purpose of this gift was to give! So with great joy I did!
I wrote a thank you note to my sister telling her what I was using her gift for and thanking her that God used her to enable this. I took a risk writing this because she has not yet come to Christ but I wrote it anyway. Through God's Spirit, I did not measure, I just gave. More importantly God did not measure, He just gave when He used her as a conduit.
The Holy Spirit spoke something else into my heart. He reminded me how I initially felt when I first received the gift - UNWORTHY. How much more so am I unworthy to have am to have received His Perfect, Eternal Gift of Salvation. I remembered the cost of this extravagant gift but He didn't measure the cost, He just gave. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son that WHOMSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. He gave according to His riches. He gave exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond anything I could ask or imagine. He didn't measure unworthiness, He just gave. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world!!!!
Today I was walking with my daughter and telling her this story and I told her that when mom and dad give, we give because we love. It's not based on what you did or didn't do or if it's a special occasion. We give because we love - an unconditional love. Our love is not Perfect like God's love, but it is modeled after God's love.
God is SO AWESOME! He met my need to meet another need. He blessed my sister to be a blessing to me that I may be a blessing to my church, that my church may be a blessing to a mission, and that specific mission would be a blessing to a people, which then blesses God! Giving has a multiplier effect!!
He gave me the gift of a relationship with HIm. He gave me the gift of prayer- 24/7 communication with Him. He gave me His Word. He gave me the Holy Spirit. He gave me Eternal Life! He gave this too you too, dear reader!!!!
There is another part of this story that I wanted to share. My sister had a birthday earlier this month. I wanted to send her something but couldn't again due to circumstances. The only thing I sent was a birthday card. The outer part of the card could be planted because it had some seeds in it that will bloom. I pray that the thank you card I previously sent also had "seed" in it which will help her grow as well!!! I so wanted to bless her with something else and so this week I was praying about it. I came across two things that I have two sets of that I thought might be nice to send. One is a book and one is shower gel. (Hope she's not reading this!) The more I thought about it, the more I thought "I can't give that! It doesn't add up to what she gave me. That's not right!"
As I was thinking and praying, I flipped a daily calendar I have that my Mother-in-Law gave me. IT was the quote that Mother Teresa said "Love Does Not measure - it just gives." This calendar has been with me for years and I know I must have read it before BUT it jumped off the page at me yesterday and I have been thinking about it ever since! It answered my prayer and spoke to me immediately! "Love does not measure, it just gives! "
I had been measuring- thinking what I was giving didn't measure up to what she gave me. What God was revealing to me was NOT to measure. Measuring is NOT LOVE! LOVE just gives! I am reminded by the Holy Spirit that I can not ever remotely give Him what He gave to me and that's because it is IMMEASURABLE! I can not possibly give anything equal to what He gave me and I am not supposed to. I am not to measure what I give - just give. True love is giving without expecting anything in return. Yet love compels you to give. So what can I give God? My obedience and my thanks!
Something else, dear reader, God doesn't want us to measure our unworthiness. We couldn't stand if we did. He took care of that at the cross. Does this give us licence to sin? Absolutely not! Are we still in need of repentance? Absolutely! Are we indeed unworthy- Yes!
However, to focus on that unworthiness can be a sin of pride. Focusing on what is wrong with us instead of focusing on Him is very defeating to God's plan for us. Focusing on my unworthiness to receive a monetary gift could have stopped me from giving. Focusing on my unworthiness of Salvation could have stopped me from receiving His Free Eternal Gift! Focusing on unworthiness can blind you to God's abundance. It can keep you from experiencing His VERY best! He is Jehovah Jireh - the God who provides! I am so very thankful for HIs grace and provision.
Now, dear reader, reflect on things you may have been measuring. Have you measured your gifts? Have you measured your worth? Have you measured your unworthiness? Have you fallen into a comparison trap? Do you expect others to give to the same measure what you have given? Do you try to give to the same measure (or outdo) in which you have been given? Let's lay our measuring cups down, so to speak and just give. Let's exercise the LOVE God has so freely given us.