Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Sacrifice Good Enough

Psalm 20, 50, 80, 110, 140


My kids are attending Vacation Bible School this week. They came home telling me they needed to take shoes to give to other kids that need them. I immediately wished we could go out and buy a few new pair but that is just not the place we are in right now. My children rummaged through their closets and found several pair that either no longer fit or they just don’t wear. They left the house with a few pair of scuffed up sneakers and I continued to wish they were shiny and unused.
I feel like we are so often in a place of need. Not necessarily financial need. There are prayer needs, medical needs, help with this and that.  We seem to always be the ones receiving and not so much giving. This frustrates me. And here I was showing up at VBS with old shoes. 
I got home from dropping the kids off and sat down to read my Psalms for the day. Here is what I read:

Psalm 50:8 
I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats. Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
I am a little slow, the conviction took a while to sink in. Likely I was tuning God out for a while. When I finally quieted myself to listen He told me, “it is not WHAT you have to give, I have no need for name brands and bright white shoe laces. What I want is a heart that sees the blessing of a closet so full of shoes that you can spare some.” 
There have been times in our lives that God has asked us to give out of our need and we had the privilege to sit back and see Him provide enough to cover where we lacked. But what He was asking me to realize today were those areas that He has so filled me. Where I have been blessed with so much that I can freely share. To offer thanks to Him for providing those people in our lives that have given again and again to meet our needs. 
Sometimes just the offer of praise seems like a sacrifice. I shared recently about a time when, through my heartache I knew I had to say to God “blessed be your name.” There is a line in the song “Blessed Be The Name of The Lord.” that I know so well, I have felt the weight of it’s meaning. The line is Though there's pain in the offering”. I know I am not the only one that has had to praise God when you hardly had the strength left to do it. Many of you know that so much more intimately than I. 
If you can give shiny new shoes to someone in need, go for it! But in ALL of your giving give with a heart full of thanksgiving and praise! Thank him for tiny voices that wake you up much too early in the morning, thank him for food to fill your belly, thank him for time to spend with family, for people who do have enough to give and can be used by God to meet physical needs. Thank him for the hurt in your life that produces growth and maturity. (James 1:2-3)
Your thanksgiving brings with it a great reward! 
Psalm 50:23 
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation (which means victory here) of God. ”

Reading through the Psalms in a month... 5 Psalms a day! 
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5 comments:

  1. I get it! I always wish that we could give more. My hubby and I began an extra envelope at the beginning of the month that was cash for just giving away. I think we only put$20-$40 in per month, but after a few months that adds up. When someone is in need, I know where to go to help them out.

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  2. What a beautiful post, Sarah. Thanks for visiting my blog so I could find yours. I sometimes dream of winning the lottery so I can waltz into church and hand over my millions for the building project. But God wants my smaller offerings, bit by bit, given in faith. It doesn't take much faith to split lottery winnings, does it? Now I'm off to dig through a bin of hand-me-down shoes...

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  3. Ok I'm a bad person because all I could think of as I read your blog was my compassion for you as you have done without and given from your own need and gone through times of hurt. I know all of these things are necessary and bring growth but as your mom to know my daughter has to experience anything but utter joy and fun and laughter breaks my heart. I guess that just comes with being a mom.
    I continue to be amazed at the skill and wisdom God has given you to write. I'm so glad you have started back again. Your heart and soul come out in your writing. I am so proud of you. love, mama

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  4. Aww, but the joy comes in the morning!!!! I wouldn't trade it though... I love what I have learned the last few years!

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