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Generosity in Every Season

I moved to the Antelope Valley with my family when I was twelve.  I'm a native Californian but I was not ready for life in the desert.  It was the hardest season of my life, full of transition, loss, and having to navigate this new normal that I certainly did not choose.  I was thinking about that season of life just recently because it reminds me of the season we're in right now.  

It was a tough year for my family.  My dad came home one day and told us he found a place to live so we packed up and moved.  I was right in the middle of seventh grade.  Like middle school isn't hard enough!?  Good grief.  We didn't know many people, but I made friends with the girl in the house behind ours.  That year her dad dressed up like Santa and brought presents for all five of us.  They hired my dad to do construction projects at their house and took me fun places with them.  They made our burden a little lighter.

Isn't that just like our Heavenly Father?  Generosity does not exist because of what we have, but by our willingness to posture our hearts and open up our hands.  The very definition says, "a readiness in giving."  I didn't know that our dear neighbors were battling their own hardship, but they welcomed us in with such readiness.   I am challenged by the amount of need in our world, especially today, but I am inspired by the stories of people stepping in and offering hope.  

How do we offer hope when scarcity shouts from news headlines and empty store shelves?  How do we ready ourselves to give?  What if we don't think we can?  Take a look where you are at right this moment.  What kind of season is it for you?  Do you have some extra time?  Maybe you have a talent that could be really useful to someone?  Maybe it is finances?  I see so many people making masks, doing grocery runs for the elderly, using social media to read bedtime stories to kids, mowing a neighbor's lawn, baking cookies (It's me, I'm baking cookies).  Can you call and check in on someone you know?  

We can trust Him with what we have even if it feels like so little.  His Word says, "For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have."  2 Corinthians 8:12 (NIV).  The bible is full of stories that echo God's faithfulness.  

All those years ago, it was an old Santa costume, a job opportunity, and some precious time given to a young girl who needed to be reminded that things were going to be okay.  We bore one another's burdens in each season that came.  What do you have right now that you can give to others?  Will you trust the Lord to use it?  We do not have to be afraid.  We can rest assured that it is His faithfulness, His abundance and His grace that will overflow in this season and the next.

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