My uncle was in PA this week visiting from Seattle. He wanted to see us, obviously, but he also had it in his mind to spoil us a bit. He took us out to eat, brought us Trader Joe’s cookies, made us each get a slice of cake, filled up our gas tank, and had a big surprise for us at the end of the night. He had desired to bless us in some way, which prompted him to ask my mom for advice on what he could get us that we would like. She mentioned several things like new shoes, a dress I wanted, etc. He ended up handing us each a one hundred dollar bill standing outside my jeep, shivering, at the gas station before we drove home.
I thanked him after my initial shock, and immediately had to tell him why his gift was so special. Our region in Cru is currently doing a forty-day fast together. Everyone who is participating chose something to fast from, and one of the leaders put together a prayer guide that we can each go through. We’ll break the fast together when we gather for the regional staff conference before Thanksgiving. The reason my uncle’s gift was so touching is because I had decided to fast from spending money on myself.
I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want, spend more time actually going shopping for those things, and of course spend money on the things I do buy. I decided to fast from those things in order to focus more on the Lord instead on how I can fulfill my desires through possessions, and also so that I could buy things for others and give money away instead of using it all for myself. The first day I had decided to do so, I unexpectedly got paid a chunk of change for babysitting, which I wasn’t expecting, and I also received money from selling items that I wasn’t planning to sell. The babysitting money was almost the exact amount of a bracelet I was thinking of buying to support and honor my aunt for breast cancer survival. It may not seem like the money I got was from God, because I just wasn’t expecting it, but I know that God works things together from behind the scenes.
When my uncle handed me cash and told me to go spend money on myself and buy new clothes or things I wanted, I was stunned and grateful. I know that it was a gesture from the Lord telling me He sees my giving. I don’t it’s Him saying that I need to spend more money on myself, but to me it’s encouragement to keep giving even when I question it. There are many times I think, “I can use this money for someone else, or I could save it and spend it on me later.” And God wanted to remind me that if I trust Him to give now, He will bless me for it later – whether in this life or in the next, in a way I expect or in a way that doesn’t seem possible.
You can’t out-give God!