May 11, 2019: Isaiah 58-60.
As I look out my window, I see big leaves on the trees. They are shading the windows. The grass is thick and green and the lilacs bloomed. The crocus and irises are budding and ready to bloom. The Lilly of the valley is releasing its fragrant perfume.
But there are no tulips.
David dug the tulips up last fall to move them. Winter came early and they are still in the garage.
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Our lives are seasons. In winter we are children – unproductive and waiting. Spring comes as teenagers. We are bursting with possibilities. We hate it when our parents advise us to save a few of the funds we are earning, or worse, give some away. We don’t realize that each dollar is a seed.
Summer comes and we blossom. Then we are productive. We start full-time jobs and a family. Our parents are still giving the same advice – give some, save some. We think “I’ll do that when I’m making more money.”
Autumn comes before we know it. Our children grow and leave the nest. Our bodies slow down. We can’t do everything we used to. We look at our savings and wonder – will it be enough? Will it last during the years I can no longer work? Will there be anything left to give to my children?
We look back over our lives. We see the seeds we planted as teens and young adults. Their multiplication amazes us. We want our children to enjoy those blessings. So, we advise – give some, save some. Why? Because, if they don’t, there will be nothing for their children.
I see couples in larger homes, driving newer cars. I’m seeing their harvest. I’m not seeing their seeds, sacrifices, sweat, and struggles.
Rich or poor, parents everywhere say:
- Give some – to honor God.
- Save some – to harvest later.
Why give first? Because God determines the harvest. Isaac planted during a famine and reaped a hundredfold. He got back 100 times the amount of seeds he planted, (see Genesis 26:12-23).
God promises to take care of us no matter what the circumstances. Our job is to plant seeds – don’t leave them in the garage!
Isaiah 58:9-12, “Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am. If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins.
(10) If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down and out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
(11) I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places – firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
(12) You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.’ ” The Message
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Proverbs 13:1, “Intelligent children listen to their parents; foolish children do their own thing.” The Message
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