I could brag on my husband, Seth, for a lot of things, but I’ll stick to just one for now. He is one of the most giving people I’ve ever met with his time. He’s willing to spend his time working on things or helping someone when they need him to. He was my usual source of encouragement in school to help or spend time when my friends asked me to (as well all know I’d rather sit in bed most of the time). As some of you know, my senior year of school, my dad got pretty sick and spent some time in the hospital. It happened to overlap with our school’s fall break. Seth went home with me that year and we spent most of our time in the hospital with my dad and family. And while there’s some people who would say, “this isn’t what I signed up for”, or “I’d really rather not spend all my break in the hospital”. Seth never once complained about it. We were only there for a few days, but he spent most of everyday at the hospital with me. Paul tells us about some others who were generous in their giving as well…
2 Corinthians 8:1-5 reads, “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in relief of the saints – and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”
The Macedonians were in great trials and extreme poverty, but they were still willing to give what they had to help Paul. Paul was asking for money to help the Christians in Jerusalem who were very poor. The Macedonians did not have much to give, but they gave all they had. So although their amounts weren’t a lot, they gave more than they realistically should have. However, they trusted the Lord first and then Paul, and gave what they had to help the mission.
During this Lent season, I know a lot of people have given up spending on extras or have decided not to eat out. However, even if that’s not what you have necessarily sacrificed, I’m sure we all have some room to cut back and save money in certain areas. I would urge all of us to not just set aside the money for our savings. I pray that we would all come up with a little extra to donate to those who really need it. Maybe you know of a family or an organization you’d love to help – whoever is on your heart. I pray we’d trust the Lord and give what we have away to someone else.
Sarah Allen has been serving on the Leadership Team at The Table for the past three years. She also oversees all Children's Ministry at The Table as a member on our staff.