Be Careful What You Ask

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.   Luke 6:38 (NIV)

The winter of 2003 followed a very dry summer and subsequently high hay prices in our area — about triple what we usually paid. When we fed our livestock, we carefully doled out every blade of hay, making sure none was wasted. Faithfully we prayed for water, more snow, and rain in spring. Just as I prayed for God to supply our daily needs, I began to pray for the wild deer.  The winter had been harsh; food was scarce, and lots of ice made it difficult for deer to find food.

God answered my prayer in an unexpected and unwelcome way. The deer began to eat our very expensive hay.  No matter how we covered the hay, the deer somehow always managed to find it. Then I began to pray for God to keep the deer from eating my hay. How ironic! I thought. Earlier I had prayed for God to give them something to eat; now I was asking God to do so in a way that would be of no cost or consequence to me.  I was ashamed to think how many times I had asked God to meet a need that I was unwilling to help with.

God used those deer (that to this day live on our farm) to teach me to put my money where my mouth is.  Asking is easy; giving is much harder.  I no longer see the deer as a nuisance; I see them as reminders of God’s faithful provision.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, thank you for providing what we need.   Teach us to give generously of our gifts, prayers, presence, and service and to care for your creation

Prayer focus:  For a spirit of generosity

From the Upper Room Daily Devotional

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