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Walking in Kingdom Generosity

The other night I was woken up by the sound of my youngest daughter Bailey crying. Now, as the parent of three kids, getting woken up in the middle of the night by the cries of one of our kids is not a completely unusual thing… I mean, kids have nightmares, or restless nights sometimes, so I got up and headed to her room to check on her. When I sat down on her bed, patted her on the bag and asked her what was wrong, she simply said “I don’t know Daddy… I am just sad.”

If you ask my wife Suzanne, she will share this hard-won wisdom about our family; You don’t talk a Berryessa out of their feelings… you can’t go around, over, or under the emotions…you just have to go through them.

I don’t know about you, but in the moments in time when I have felt the Lord prompting me to places of faith or obedience that are stretching, or beyond my comfort zone, it has prompted some pretty revealing reactions.  I thought about this after preaching about finances last week. Although I am sure the stance Living Waters takes was healing and relieving to many… I know that with freedom their often comes invitation.

When the Lord invites us to learn to walk in His heart of generosity, it is both exhilarating and terrifying. Exhilarating because the Lord invites us into partnership with him to do some AMAZING Kingdom things through generosity, but also terrifying because it asks us to choose faithful dependence with our resources. For some of us that can trigger all sorts of insecure reactions. I certainly have plenty of examples from my own life, but instead let me share the end of my interaction with Bailey the other night.

Her sadness was real, and she feels her feelings DEEPLY. Fear and insecurity are real emotions, and they are DEEPLY ROOTED for many of us. As I sat with Bailey I shared this HARD-WON strategy. I asked her to think about things in her life that gave her joy and made her feel grateful. She immediately objected “But Daddy, I am still sad!” I replied, “I am not asking you to remember these things so that you will ignore your sadness…instead, I am asking you to remember these things to help make your sadness bearable. When we remember all the things that are good and praiseworthy in our lives, it helps remember that we have a Good Father who loves us and takes good care of us… That is a good reminder when we face hard or scary things.”

As she recalled the things in her life that were good and praiseworthy, her heart began settle. And soon she was peacefully asleep. What’s the point? As we walk into the invitation to Kingdom Generosity, the Lord may call you to places that challenge you or prompt fear. Can I encourage you to remember all the ways that God has provided for your needs (surely not always all your wants) and the ways that He has sustained you? As your heart settles into greater peace, I encourage you to step into these invitations and see what the Father might do through them!

May we all grow to resemble our generous Father, more and more!

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