Water [was] coming out from under the threshold of the temple…from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. (Ezekiel 47:1)
For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS one and only SON, that whoever believes in HIM shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
At some point just about every kid leaves the nest. But approximately 40 percent of us don’t move far from it, living our entire lives in the city or town of our birth. It was a difficult decision for me but one I thought was economically in the best interest of my family. My parents and my wife’s parents were not thrilled about us leaving and taking their grandkids hundreds of miles away from them, but what could they do?
Our plan was to stay with friends a few weeks while looking for our own place and as such we left most of our belongings behind in storage and took only what was of necessity. It wasn’t easy but we knew the inconveniences were temporary so we made the best of things. Finally after several very long weeks we both had new jobs and a new place of our own (although without furniture) in a brand new city. Of course, that was when the bottom fell out.
Our move was being financed in part by funds I was withdrawing from a savings account I had with my previous employer. On the day it was supposed pay instead of receiving a check I received a notice that there had been an error in my submission request and that payment would be delayed. Calls to the company gave me assurances that the payment would be made but not for several weeks. We had operated pretty much on a shoestring budget to get to where we were and that delay was devastating. Since we had just moved and just started new jobs we did not qualify for a loan from the standard lending institutions. The circle of friends I could ordinarily depend on in such situations were now hundreds of miles away and going to them just wasn’t an option. So I did what I had always done when things seemed desperate. I called home.
After carefully laying out the problem and swallowing most of my pride I asked for a temporary bailout. Imagine how stunned I was when I was told that this time I was on my own and would have to figure it out myself. In shock I just barely heard my parent’s offer to help us return home if things got too bad as, almost simultaneously there was a knock at the door. It was my new landlord holding the note I left her explaining the rent might be a little late. She very calmly but firmly explained that they did not accept promises for rent, just cash or checks.
The following morning at work one of my trainers noticed that I seemed a distracted and a little down and began to bug me about it. Finally I snapped that I was having a few financial issue but it would not affect my production. He told me to stop working and took me into the boss’s office and went to get the boss. I was starting to panic. I didn’t think I had been disrespectful in the way I responded, but maybe he took it that way. The very last thing I needed was to now lose this job. My boss came in and with a no nonsense look immediately asked me to explain what was going on. When I started to tell him about my conversation with the trainer he waived that off and said no, what kind of financial issues are you having? I sheepishly began to explain about the delayed savings payment and before I could finish he asked how much was I expecting. He then left the room briefly and when he returned he had a check for the amount of the savings payment. He gave it to me and said go home and take care of your business. Come back tomorrow no distractions ready to work.
From this experience I learned my most treasured lesson about giving. My parents had always been my safety net, the resource I could always count on. Denying this request was the best gift they ever gave me. If forced me to recognize and depend on the real source of all gifts, “the ORIGIN of our river.”
Great and glorious FATHER of all, thank YOU so much for the greatest gift of all, YOUR SON and HIS unselfish sacrifice given to an undeserving world. Teach us YOUR ways of love and generosity so that we may participate in a life of joy and abundance. In CHRIST name we pray, amen.