Today is “Arizona Gives Day” – a day when nearly every non-profit in the state is sending emails and letters asking for donations. Many non-profits exist almost entirely on donations, so they have to make the most of this opportunity to reach out and touch your hearts – and wallets.
I came across an old blog post of mine from several years back that I am posting again today because of its relevance to “Arizona Gives Day.” I hope as you read it you will be encouraged to do some giving of your own. Perhaps you will even see how much God has blessed you as you look back on how things were just seven years ago.
April 1, 2009:
I’m depressed today. I have to admit it. All around me I see signs of an ailing economy. Businesses are closing, and people everywhere are strained, anxious, and barely holding on to a shred of hope that things will eventually get better.
This weekend, I’ll be participating in a golf-a-thon to raise money for a Christian food bank in my community. Each member of the board of directors (myself included) has been challenged to obtain pledges in the amount of $7500 for the event. I’ve been asking for pledges from friends and acquaintances. So far, I’ve gotten five pledges, totaling $500. “It’s the economy,” people say. “It’s not a good year for giving to others.”
Unfortunately, it’s been a very good year for the food bank, at least as far as their clients are concerned. The number of people needing help from the charity has doubled and is on the way to tripling. But where the food is going to come from, I just don’t know.
These are hard times, and it’s understandable for people to be cautious in how they spend their money. If someone doesn’t have a job, they might not know how they’re going to make their next house payment or pay for food. People who do have jobs are probably wondering how long that might last. Companies are cutting employees and tightening their budgets to stay afloat. State and local governments are cutting back services and raising fees to keep from drowning in red ink. Property values and investments have shrunk to almost nothing.
“This isn’t a good year,” people say. ‘“I’ll try to give next time.”
But I can’t help but ask, when has it ever been a bad year for God? When has he ever been stopped by circumstances beyond his control or had to scale back his mercy and love because the times were hard? Is it not in the darkest hours that his light can shine brightest?
Okay, I know that sounds trite and it might not be a great comfort to someone holding a pink slip in their hand. But before you climb into a hole of depression and hoard all your worldly wealth to sustain you for the future, just remember this: God rewards those who are faithful. He gives his love and mercy to those who give their love and mercy to others in his name.
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me…. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:34-36, 40)
I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let an unhealthy economy keep me from my eternal reward. God is faithful—always! I’m going to do my best to be faithful today, too.
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What is my mission as an author? It's a tough question, but I believe the goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they really believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.