Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blessed Broken & Shared

Not long ago, my wife and I sat back and thought about all the blessings over the past year.  We looked at all the many things that led to success this year and were amazed at the many blessings we received from others.  We realized that we are capable of so much, but with the help of others along the way, we were able to partake in the circle of blessings. 

So how does thos whole cycle work?  First it takes someone to be selfless.  Recently, I've read about people pulling up to the drive through window, and the car in front of them has paid for them and drove away.  Random acts of kindness that receive no recognition except for the act itself.  Lets say there were 15 cars that received the blessing... Where did it begin?  It started with the first person who chose to be selfless and would receive no benefit at all.  After the first car receives the blessing, they can either choose to let the blessing stop on them, or continue to bless others with the blessings they received. 

So what we see here, is blessing, shared, blessing shared, blessing shared.  Where does the "broken" come in?  This is partially broken as a piece of us breaks - but more in the context of the breaking of the bread.  If given a piece of __X__, you choose to keep X to yourself, the blessing stops with you.  In sharing, you break some off, keep some for yourself, and then share it with others.  No, your portion is not going to be as large but you allow others to partake in the blessing by sharing. 

Sometimes, I have to take a step back and look at my world from a distance.  When we look at circumstances in the same way, we can really begin to see how our blessings unfold.  In a natural circumstance, the more we save means the more we own.  In the supernatural world which is much more difficult to trust, the more we give the more we receive.  Faith certainly is counter cultural and can be quite the challenge to trust.  If it was certain, it wouldn't be faith.  Faith requires us to trust even when we're not quite sure.  Faith that the Lord will provide can be quite daunting sometimes especially when the risk is so great.  Obviously, we can't go and put our faith in gambling and "trust" that God will provide...  We can't trust that God will give you an A on that test if you didn't study....  but there is something freeing about doing our part, and letting God take care of the rest. In the world of giving, I've certainly found that giving provides great rewards. 

A few months ago, my wife and I had booked a vacation, we were starting to plan a trip to Rome with my church, we were nearing Christmas with tons of end of year bills, and took a look at the credit cards.  With quite a bit of debt on our credit card, and around 15% interest, we began to step into "freak out mode".  We decided to really buckle down and do our best to pay off our debt and not create any more.  No shopping, no eating out, no extra this or that...  But we said at the beginning that we weren't going to stop tithing, and in fact, we should up it.  This was our plan, and after a month, we saved enough for a huge chunk off our bills.  Nearing Christmas, tons of new bills, again we started to freak out a bit.  We had tons of gifts to get, and still found ourselves in the hole and slowly digging our way out. Within the next month, we found more and more financial blessings coming in from all sorts of random places allowing us to completely pay off our debt, get through Christmas, and have extra to put into savings. 

I can't tell you that every time you go broke, you should give money to your church and expect God to fix all your problems...  However, I can tell you, that along the way, making sure your blessings are realized, that you break a piece of your blessings and share it with others, that there will be a sense of great joy and accomplishment.  You will continue the cycle of helping others who may need that "pick me up".  Maybe through a baked bread, a tray of cookies, or raking someone's lawn for them.  It doesn't have to be financial.  Share your gifts, share your talents.  Give of yourself with a genuine heart of self sacrifice. 

I hear in the protestant churches that idea of "sowing the seed"...  You get the seed, plant it, watch it grow, and eventually it bears fruit, and allows others to sow their own seeds.  With time, you have an entire forest of good fruit.  Be a part of the blessing!  Sow that seed, plant it, and share your gifts with others so they can grow.  Realize your blessings.  Break a piece off, and share it.  You'll be amazed of the changes that will occur in your life. 

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