Every time you walk in the direction of her dish, our 8-year-old West Highland White Terrier races over and stands astride her dog food, gulping it down as if it is her very last chance to eat. For eight years we have faithfully put out her dog food each day, never once grabbing it and eating it ourselves. She has never had to go hungry. And yet, to this day, she acts as if she fears that she will run out of food, or perhaps even have it snatched away by the very humans who lovingly provide it.
Fear of losing what we have can lead us to hold on tightly, as if the gracious Lord who filled our hands with blessings might not continue to bless us—or, worse yet, might grab away from us what He already lovingly gave us. It is as if we have to guard our dog food.
When we come to understand the goodness of God, His joy in daily providing for us, and His character as the Great Giver, we
can enter into Grateful Living. Rather than ferociously guarding our dog food (or its equivalent in human terms), we can open our hands and share, with full confidence that “those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Psalm 34:10, NKJV ).
Grateful Living relieves us of the fear that we won’t have enough, if we give to God’s work through returning His tithes and our offerings. As we give, it enables God to show His faithfulness to us and to provide us with still more blessings, so that we can even enlarge our giving.
by Ray Hartwell serves as director of Grateful Living (Stewardship) & Trust Services