Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In Better Hands

I met someone last week who is the personification of the song “In Better Hands” by Natalie Grant and its powerful lyrics. His name is Harold and he serves breakfast at the restaurant in the Nashville Hilton.

Harold is from the southern part of Louisiana. A few days before Hurricane Katrina hit, he and his family decided to leave the area for safety’s sake. Harold, his wife and their 2 children packed up a few changes of clothes and other necessities. Concerned about possible flooding, Harold wrapped up pictures, valuables and other irreplaceable items and tucked them away in his attic between the rafters. They then traveled a few hundred miles away by car to get out of the path of the storm.

Thankfully he and his family escaped injury. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of their home. They returned to find their house destroyed. All their belongings, including the pictures and valuables tucked away in the attic were now buried somewhere under the 5 feet of putrid sludge that filled what was left of their home. The worst part of all, however, was losing his Mother and Mother-in-Law who both died as a result of the storm.

Harold said that his insurance company, you know, the one that says that you’re in good hands when you’re insured by them, found a technicality in the fine print of his policy allowing them to refuse to cover his losses.

I asked Harold how he held together through it all. He simply pointed heavenward. He said that he had to be strong for his kids and his wife during it all and that strength came from God. Several churches pulled together to help provide his family with the necessities until they could get back on their feet. And, now, three years later, thanks be to God, his life is finally starting to return to a new state of normal.

So, whose hands hold your life? There is only one set of hands prepared to carry you through the difficult times we are all eventually bound to face. Natalie’s song says it well, “I am strong all because of you. I stand in awe of every mountain that you move. I am changed, yesterday is gone. I am safe from this moment on. There’s no fear when the night comes round, I’m in better hands now”

Friday, May 14, 2010

Emptying the Bank

As anyone with multiple kids knows, children spawned from the same exact set of parents often live on completely opposite ends of the personality spectrum. This is true for my kids…especially when it comes to money. One of my kids has gotten his impulse spending under control and has managed to accumulate quite a savings account. Another child is just beginning to understand money management, but she knows that it’s a good thing to have!

And, then there’s our Middle Child, who, at the ripe old age of 9, seems to understand the joy of giving. At Christmas, she often empties out the “spending” portion of her bank, goes to the dollar store, and spends all of her hard earned money on gifts for family, friends and teachers.

Here’s what she doesn’t know. Whenever I find loose change while I’m picking up around the house or doing the laundry, I put it in Carley’s bank. I don’t do it because I love her more than our other children (although they’d accuse me of that if they knew what I was up to). I do it because I want to quietly reward her generosity. Besides, I know she will be a good steward of the money I give her.

It occurred to me recently that God blesses us financially in much the same way. When we have a generous heart, giving freely to others, He freely gives to us. When we’re good stewards of our resources, he knows He can trust us with more. And, when we tithe, even though doing so will “empty our bank”, He is always faithful in providing us with what we need.

Look at this verse from Corinthians: 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Take time today to thank God for His assurance that we can trust you with everything, including our money. Ask Him to give you the faith to be generous in giving, even when there is risk involved