Lending to the Lord

As we anticipate the adventure of bringing two orphan boys from Eastern Europe to our home for the holidays, I am learning many things.  Maybe the biggest is gratitude.

I could go on and on about how freshly-aware and grateful I am for the big things: My savior, my family, my freedom in America. And I could go on and on about how grateful I’m becoming for the little things that many in O. and V.’s situation don’t have: dozens of sappy Hallmark channel movies, more amazing books than I can ever find time to read, and a fireplace beside which to enjoy it all.

But today I’m considering the generosity of God who shares all these things with us.  It all belongs to him.  God announces:

“Everything under heaven belongs to me.”  Job 41:11.

and Paul asks this rhetorical question:

“Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from him, and through him, and to him are all things.”  Romans 11:35-36.

But I’m grateful not only for the generosity of God, but of so many wonderful people who have partnered financially with us on this journey.  Donations have poured in to our fundraising website, by check to our home, and in the very useful and equally generous boxes and bags of clothing we’ve received.

I nearly wept when my son’s good friend gave a gift of $50.  That’s a lot of money for a high school senior!!!  The lady who came to our home to officially interview us and assess that our home is a safe place for a host child to stay brought a practically new winter coat for us to give to one of the boys.

I could go on and on. Everyone’s gift is equally valuable to us because every gift came from a heart willing to give to the poor.  Not that we are poor.  But the boys we are hosting are literally penniless.

And this is where the mystery of God comes in.  Remember how he owns it all.  How no one can ever give to God and expect repayment.  I think God makes one exception.

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for what he has done.” Proverbs 19:17

God has a special place in his heart for the poor, downtrodden, forgotten, and friendless in our world. And he has a special place in his heart for those who offer kindness to help even one of this world’s “losers.”

I want to thank every single person who has given with generous hearts to help O. and V.  come to our home.  We are in your debt.  And miraculously, so is God.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:37-40.