Giving • Devotion #1: “Mine”

Currently, as I sit to write this I am seven months pregnant with my third child, during a global pandemic, a recession, in an extremely divided and intense country, and in the presidential election year 2020 (which has been memorable, to say the least). There were rumors of murder hornets a few months ago that thankfully seemed to fizzle out. Everything else has been pretty insane. If there was a time to not be pregnant, this would probably be it. Every day is another reminder that the world has lost its mind and chaos abounds. 

Sometimes when I am overwhelmed and fearful, it seems like the human race is in a runaway train speeding down a hill towards destruction, and we are just getting closer and closer to the crash. In reality, that picture is not far from the truth for those who do not know the Lord. It is a scary and sobering thought. I am so thankful to know that my Savior has lifted me from that train and has me safe in His arms. I hold to this truth and remind myself of it constantly, and probably a little more constantly now in this crazy year with a baby on the way. If you have children, you likely know what I am talking about. It is one thing to worry about yourself, but when you have a child, the love is so unexplainably intense that you (or at least I) worry so much more on their behalf. I think of my kids, and know I would do anything for them. It is both wonderful and horrible at the same time. Nothing has tested my faith more than being a parent, responsible for three precious lives. I just want to wrap them up in a bubble and keep them safely to myself.

Maybe you do not have children, or you do but do not struggle with the related fear as I do. Whether you relate or not, I am sure that there is at least one thing in your life that you possess that you cannot imagine having to let go of or release control. Perhaps it is money, your career or talent, or a relationship with a spouse, friend, or parent. It is something that you feel that you have worked so hard to build up or gain, and losing it would be absolutely detrimental. What is most important to you? 

This year has really challenged me and brought many things in my heart to light that I was not even aware of them existing. Faced with a global health crisis early in the year made me fear for the health and safety of those I love. Faced with the possibility of an extreme recession or depression, I found myself worrying about the possibility of losing our income, house, or whatever. Faced with the election coming up in November, I find myself worrying about what things will look like when it is over, regardless of who wins. I am thankful to the Lord that He quickly squashed the murder hornets because that may have just put me over the edge (insert laugh emoji here). 

Thankfully, through all of this, I know that the Lord is sovereign and in control of it all. If He was not, I would not be able to sleep at night. When I find myself consumed with fear about any of these scenarios, I can easily find comfort in the Word. There are so many amazing passages that I could share but when it comes to this matter, I think it is important to get to the heart of the issue – putting too much value in things that we view as “ours.” My kids are “mine,” my money that I earn from my job is “mine.” The talent that I possess and get to share with others is “mine.” The list could unfortunately continue. When we view everything we have as “ours,” it is pretty easy to get possessive of it and extremely fearful to lose it. However, in reality, none of it is truly ours. Everything we have been given and blessed with is from the Lord. He is the One who created your children and gave them to you! He is the One who gave you your gifts and abilities! He is the One who lined up your career and has provided for you financially. 

One passage in Scripture that always helps remind me of this is 1 Chronicles chapter 29. In this chapter, we find King David setting aside his gold, silver, jewels, and every precious thing so that his son could build a temple for the Lord and all of His glory. I think in today’s value it was something like 35 million dollars. Can you imagine? That is a ton of money. However, David cheerfully gave and encouraged his people to give regardless of the cost. In verse 14 (NLT), he says, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!” David understood that every single thing that he possessed was given to him by God, and because of that, it should be our joy and privilege to give back to Him. When I remind myself of this truth, I can let go of any fear that I may have because I know that the Lord is not only in control, but He loves me and has an amazing plan for my life. It is up to me to give up any idea of control that I might have and to trust Him. His ways are better than mine. He loves my kids even more than I do. He has a plan for my kids, my talents, abilities, finances, and relationships. The Lord has given us so much. It is now our turn to joyfully give back to Him and watch Him use it for incredible things!

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