The bible encourages us to pray for everything that we need. After that, the real test is in how patiently we can wait for the answer to come. In the waiting it’s hard to see where provision may come from. We look out for bright lights and miraculous signs, but sometimes our provision is found in the simple generosity of someone we haven’t even met.
Generosity is unique in the sense that it rarely ends very near to where it started. You deciding to open up your home, your hand or your heart to someone can create a wave of generosity that is too big to measure.
That’s exactly how we imagine 40acts. We have no way of knowing all the different places your generosity spread throughout this year’s challenge. Even your small acts of generosity could still be positively impacting people now.
Let’s illustrate that a bit more clearly.
Take Day 14 of this year’s challenge: Home-grown. On this day the Archbishop John Sentamu encouraged us to donate to Acts 435, a charity that supports the needs of the local community. We were about to raise an incredible £18,190 – nearly half of their monthly income. No one person gave that lump sum of money, it was an accumulation for the little gifts that contributed to that total. We spoke to Acts 435 to find out exactly how the money you gave impacted their recipients…
Cast your mind back to March when we were cranking up the central heating to furiously fight off ‘The Beast from the East’. We may have not wanted to leave our house or go to work but we could take comfort in the fact that we could snuggle up at home later.
However, this wasn’t the case for everybody. There were plenty of people either on the streets or facing the prospect of homelessness themselves. Here’s one of the stories from Acts 435 that really moved us:
“A gentleman in Truro who we helped with food and bottled gas for heating wrote: “You have really saved me. I have been trying to save my gas but it has been so cold and it is just about empty. What wonderful timing!!! I am going across to shops, snow permitting, to get some food and a pasty. Can’t thank you enough. The thought of being without heat frightened me. I am amazingly grateful as I can cook something hot now without worrying if I will run out of gas. Thank you, I can’t repay you but one day I hope I can do it for someone else.”
That’s just it. We have no idea where the chain of generosity will end. When we to give to others we put them in a position to give to those around them; they are then blessed to be a blessing. (Zechariah 8:13). Perhaps you felt like some of your acts didn’t make a difference, but that isn’t how God sees it. As we partner with him to care for those around us, we are being his hands and feet. We don’t need to worry about whether we’re reaching the thousands. If we enable one other person to give, the reach of our generosity could grow exponentially.
Generosity isn’t just a “one-off” event, it’s is more like a wave. There are small actions and big actions, but each one carries forward, enabling the next person to bless someone else. So instead of thinking of your generosity as a tiny drop in a massive ocean, see it as a ripple that starts a wave. The more waves, the stronger the current and the bigger the change.
At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.
2 Corinthians 8:14