This year has been an exercise in sacrifice for many of us. Some of us have put our lives on the line to try to help heal others, some of us have put our lives and energies out in great excess to keep essential services running, some of us have sacrificed what should be big milestones in our lives, some of us have sacrificed reliable income, some of us have lost what could have been many more years with family members had they not gotten sick. Sometimes sacrifice is necessary to get what you want next, for example the sacrifices that are involved with selling and moving from your current residence to a new, bigger/better one, or the sacrifices involved in starting up the business you’ve always wanted, or the sacrifices you make to have and raise kids and not just support you and your partner. But other times there isn’t much reward on the other end, it’s just something you have to do for the greater good.
Of course, that doesn’t take into account what God can do outside of or separate from the sacrifices that you’re making, or what can happen when you see the work as something other than painful and difficult. Luke 6:38 says: “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
While the year is far from over and there are several hurdles to get through for most of us, I don’t see why we can’t think and pray positively and ask God to bless and return in abundance the sacrifices (that we’re now going to look at as gifts) that we’ve given over the past 8 months. Do take note though that in this verse in Luke 6 it talks about how much activity may surround the returning of the gift, so be open to the blessings God sends your way to be wrapped in some unusual wrappings or that they may take a little work to uncover and incorporate all of the goodness.
We can all count up the challenges of this year, so what have been some gifts that you’ve received?