Generosity. I gave a dollar to some cause at the checkout at CVS the other day. That’s generous. Oh, and at church on Sunday, I put some money in the tithe basket. Again, generous. In fact, I have many vices, but I have always felt that generosity could comfortably be put on the asset side of my character balance sheet. I like to give, I hold onto things pretty loosely. Yes, generous. But how generous am I really? The other morning I read about a woman who had wanted a baby so bad. She had waited years and prayed for a child but to no avail. To make matters worse, she had another woman in her life who was blessed with many children. And this woman (I can’t call her a friend) would flaunt her children in front of her day and night. Have you ever been so brokenhearted you just couldn’t eat? I have and that’s how broken this woman felt.
In desperation and in brokenness she prayed to God to please bless her with a son. And now she made a very bold, a very unselfish, and a very generous promise – “God, if you will give me a son, I will give him back to you to do your work for the rest of his life.”
Wow! That’s a bold promise! A child, a baby boy, with tiny little hands, a chubby face, loving eyes gazing into his mama’s eyes ~ if God were to bless this woman with this baby, she would willingly give him to be raised in the priesthood to serve God. I have given away lots of things over time, some of them very valuable. I have given away thousands of dollars over the years, even when we didn’t have thousands of dollars left over. I have even given away my time in service to others. But this kind of generosity I don’t have, yet.
I have two children, one a son. I remember the days they were born. I remember their little hands holding mine, their little lips kissing me good morning and good night, the smell of Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo on their hair. I didn’t think I could love anyone, other than my husband, more than those kids. I still feel that way. So, could I willing give them up for someone else to raise for God’s work, His kingdom, His glory? You see, this woman friend of ours wasn’t handing them over to child services ~ it was a worthy, generous act on her part. Even under these noble circumstances, is it possible? When your heart has yearned for something almost to the point of death, could you give it up, willingly, generously? Could I keep a promise like that? I honestly don’t know.
Our friend was able to keep her promise. When her child was old enough to eat on his own, she brought him to the priesthood to be a servant to God. She handed him over. Over the years she would see him on visits, maybe once a year or so. God honored her generosity and made her son a great prophet to his people.
Surrendered to God. Unselfish. Generous.
God tells us he blesses a cheerful, generous giver – He tells us we can’t out give Him. If God says it, then it must be true. This brokenhearted, beaten down, barren woman who generously offered her one and only son back to the Lord, was later blessed with many more children. It makes my dollar donation at CVS seem mighty small this morning. Generosity. A new definition might be in order for me ~ how about you? Fellow followers and seekers, what are we really willing to give for the Lord? After all, He gave all for us.