Last week, I shared that mine and Rachel’s bikes and tools were stolen from our garage.
A couple hours after posting that blog, a brother and sister in Christ generously gave us their very nice bikes.
As Rachel road her new bike around the block she said, “This is the best bike I’ve ever ridden.”
On Friday, I walked into my office to find a pile of brand new tools, fully replacing what had been taken. An anonymous gift.
I can honestly say I never intended or expected anyone to respond to my blog post with such generosity. It was overwhelming.
The whole thing reminded me of this passage from the gospels:
“Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30, ESV)
I certainly don’t want to take this passage out of context. These words of Jesus come at the end of the story of the rich young ruler – a man who was unwilling to part with his earthly wealth in order to inherit the kingdom.
On the one hand, this passage is about leaving behind worldly goods in order to trust God to give you what you need.
On the other hand, the passage is about the abundance of God’s kingdom.
When we step into God’s family, we inherit a hundred times what we could expect to gain from the world. And this isn’t even talking about the afterlife, Jesus says in this time.
But Jesus isn’t preaching a prosperity gospel either. After all, he told the rich young ruler to sell everything and give to the poor.
Jesus wants his followers to live generously, recognizing that our Father owns all things. And in turn, we shouldn’t be surprised when our Father uses his people to supply the things we need to live in this world.
The kingdom of God is like owning nothing and everything at the same time.
Poor in the eyes of the world, but fabulously rich in God.
Now, this doesn’t mean when things are taken from us God will always give you new things. Jesus even says this life of abundance includes persecution.
What it does mean is that God loves us, and will give us what we need.
Last year, I gave my friend Chris a ride.
“This is a nice car,” he said.
“Isn’t it?” I responded. “A missionary gave us this car when they moved to Africa. Isn’t that crazy?”
“No,” Chris said with confidence, “God is good.”
Chris is homeless, but he’s fabulously rich.
Rachel and I have experienced a lot of generosity in our life together. I won’t be surprised when we experience more of it, but I will always be thankful – thankful to have a rich Father, and thankful to be a part of his family, the Church.