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Europe Field Story

Living a Life of Generosity

“Do God’s resources pour into you and yet remain stagnant like a pond? Or do they flow through you to others? Do you trust that God will replenish your supply?”

Recently I have been thinking a lot about rivers and ponds (no, I am not planning on becoming a limnologist, and yes, I had to look that word up!). The difference between the two is fairly obvious: ponds store water, while water constantly passes through a river. The water in a pond is still and stagnant, but the water in a river is always moving.

Rivers flow to the ocean, which then helps replenish the evaporated water in the ocean, which then replenishes the water vapor in the clouds, which then causes rain to fall on the land, which replenishes the water in the rivers…and on and on it goes. It’s a cycle.

The reason I have been thinking about rivers and ponds, is because someone asked me recently: Are you a pond? Or are you a river, when it comes to the resources that God has given you?

Do God’s resources pour into you and yet remain stagnant like a pond? Or do they flow through you to others? Do you trust that God will replenish your supply?

It was a great question that I continue to ponder (no pun intended!). I would like to think that I am a river, but I confess there are times that I can be a pond. Of course, the irony is not lost on me. Basically, we depend on “rivers” to make our living. We depend on the generosity of others, so how would I not also be just as generous?

There was a moment back in June when I could do what was required, or I could go above and beyond. No one would know the difference but me and the Lord. So, I initially did what was required, which was really the bare minimum. 

But over the next few hours, it didn’t sit right with me. Here I was asking God to bless our support-raising efforts while we are here, but at the same time I was being “pond-like” with what the Lord had given me. Fortunately, I was able to go back and rectify it, but it still bothers me today that being generous wasn’t my first instinct. 

I thought about Ananias and Sapphira from the Bible. We know what they did (they lied to the church and kept money for themselves), but we don’t know why they did what they did.

The easy answer would be to say that they were greedy. And maybe that is the answer. But I would guess that the answer goes a bit deeper. I would suggest two reasons that they were “pond-like:”

1. They didn’t fully understand where their blessing came from
Ananias and Sapphira were able to give. They had land. They had resources, which is why they sold some of their property to help the church. But they kept some money back for themselves. They didn’t realize or fully understand that every blessing comes from God. So, the good position that they were in wasn’t their own doing, but it was by the grace of God. 

2. They didn’t believe that there could be more blessings in the future
God took care of them in the past, but they didn’t believe that God would take care of them in the future. They didn’t believe that more blessings were going to come, and so they held tightly to the blessing, instead of the Blesser. Instead of being “rivers,” they became “ponds,” and that was their downfall.

The Bible reminds us that the Lord is a generous giver and loves to give good gifts to His children. You might be facing a giant obstacle that seems far too big for the Lord, may we not only know that the Lord is our provider when He does provide but may we cling to the truth that He is our provider and have eyes peeled open to see Him at work! 


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