I pulled a two-pound container of strawberries out of the refrigerator today to eat with lunch, only to find that most of the berries were covered in mold. I was able to salvage about a quarter of them. The rest of them I threw down the garbage disposal. What a waste.
I should've gotten them out sooner.
I shouldn't have let them sit in there so long.
But an even better solution would've been to give them away when I had the chance. You see, earlier in the week we had gotten out the other container of strawberries to share with the neighbor kids, who were over playing. There was only about a pound left, and they ate through that pretty quickly. Just imagine the Very Hungry Caterpillar, but instead of being small and green with lots of little legs, they are small and dirty with two little legs, but just as hungry. So they smashed the first container and asked if we had any more.
We did, but in my selfish, sinful nature I was having one of those "why do I always have to feed all the children all the time" and "if I give all our fruit away then what are my kids going to eat" kinds of days, and so I said "no." I said that we did, but I wasn't going to get them out right now.
Because my kids were going to eat them later.
And I put God into a box and closed the lid and didn't stop to think about how He may want to bless those neighborhood kids who might not get strawberries or healthy snacks at home. I closed the lid and put some packing tape across the top, refusing to give God the opportunity to bless us out of our generosity, to supernaturally provide for all our needs.
And I put the box on a shelf, where I didn't have to think about it or look at it anymore. And the strawberries sat in the fridge instead of filling up hungry bellies, where they would soon begin to rot. Kind of like your heart does when you hold onto things in this world too tightly.
Seeing them covered in mold was a good smack in the face and an even better lesson. God doesn't bless us with good gifts so that we can hoard them up for ourselves. So that we can have strawberries in such abundance that they sit in the refrigerator and rot while the rest of the neighborhood starves. He blesses us so that we in turn may bless others. God always provides, but how often do we stop to think that maybe He wants to provide through us?? Through me? Through you?
You can't out-give God, but do we really live like we believe that??
May we not be so arrogant and selfish as to put Him in a box, tape it up, and set it on a shelf. God has called us to live generous lives, to love others as ourselves. To feed other kids as I'd feed my own. To give sacrificially, even when the outcome is out of our control. Because then God can step in and do what He does best: make the impossible possible.