I was reminded of the testimony of my friend, Anne Marie Stern, today when reading 2 Cor. 8:10-15. A few years ago, she made a trip to Haiti to visit her niece who was working for the mission organization MyLIFEspeaks. Anne Marie knew her visit would be short. One suitcase was all she needed.
She enjoyed helping with community outreach in the village of Neply and had full intentions of returning to the states. Afterall, she had booked a round-trip flight. But then something happened. She saw a huge need. The need in the hands she held, the mouths she fed, and the eyes she looked into.
And the Holy Spirit moved and worked in her heart to the point that when it was time for her to depart…she couldn’t go. She couldn’t leave.
Now…she had every reason to go. She had plenty of excuses. “What about the job I have back home? What about my family and friends? Don’t I have a hair appointment next weekend?
What about the important meeting on my calendar? What about my favorite show on t.v.? I don’t know if I remembered to record it.
I could possibly miss eating out with friends and the sweet comfort of home. Oh yah, there is this thing called a/c and hot water. Besides, I don’t know how I will live without my next paycheck.
Oh, and most important of all, what about the fact that I only have one suitcase? One change of shoes. One tube of toothpaste. Not to mention, only 3 ounces of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner.”
You see…when it comes to giving…we readily put limits on God, rather than looking to His limitlessness. We often are reluctant because of what it will cost us. In our text, we see the poverty-stricken Macedonian church give to the Corinthians. They gave what they had, allowing God to make it abundant.
I get the privilege of observing Anne Marie on my frequent trips to Haiti and I can tell you something…this girl isn’t poor. She is lavishing abounding in joy and fruitfulness.
As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” 2 Cor. 8:10-15
Jesus can use whatever you have. Wherever you are. Whenever you’re ready. What is holding you back from being a generous giver?