I recently posted a shorty story “Filled Up and Running Over.” I believe the biblical truth behind this short story is so powerful and so essential that I wanted to write a separate blog post to explain more about this short story.
If you haven’t read my short story “Filled Up and Running Over,” you can check it out here. But to summarize, it is a story where a person (me or you, it’s written in the first person) finds a stream of water in the middle of the woods. The person sees coins at the bottom of the stream and then to get the coins, starts digging a hole in the middle of the stream. They keep digging and keep finding coins until the hole becomes a big pool in the middle of the stream. At first its half empty but it then begins to rain and the person takes shelter. Coming back out, they find that because there was a dug pool at the lowest point of the forest floor, 3 more streams had formed and flowed into the pool and back out. The person realizes that by digging this pool, it had created more streams in the forest–more sources for refreshment.
This is story is powerful on many accounts. As with all of my short stories, I write them from personal lived out experience, so this again is a personal story. But more importantly this is a biblical lesson I believe God wants us all to understand: the power of generosity. Yes, I wrote this story about giving which it might not have been apparent at first. However, all of my writing is for you to receive from it how God is speaking to you so there are many other interpretations to this story. But if you can go back to read it again through the lens of generosity, you might pick up on a new insight.
I wrote this story based out of this bible verse in 2 Corinthians 9:8:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
I intentionally used the New King James Version as I believe the other English version don’t translate this verse well. Because when you read this sentence, it doesn’t make sense. It is redundant, but thats the secret, it is supposed to be. Paul is making a point here that God is able to make all the grace that exists go increasingly towards you, where you will always have all sufficiency in all things. Thats a lot of “alls.” What a statement and what a truth—so much abundance and grace promised. Kind of like a rushing waterfalls flowing into a great big pool. Do you see where I’m going here?
The verse proceeding this verse gives a more full picture of this allegory I am trying to paint:
“He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Put all these verses together, here is my summary: as we choose to sow in generosity bountifully, that is, give in abundance and give beyond what we define is enough, that act not only changes our hearts but unlocks abounding grace and abundance in our lives—always.
Going back to my story, imagine the stream as your source of provision. God lays out small opportunities to give and as you do, you find heavenly treasure from giving money away. But as you start doing it more, you start digging deeper a well inside of you. Its metaphorical for our hearts as well as our finances. Because when giving, things sometimes can look empty and not feel overflowing in our finances, even as we are making more room in our hearts. Giving can also become messy as dirt and stones of life and our hearts are dislodged in the process. But as you choose to keep going, your capacity to give gets bigger and bigger. Your heart becomes bigger and more open as you dig discipline of giving into it.
Heres where the power of 2 Corinthians 9 comes in: God then brings the grace. He brings the rain and because you have prepared your heart and dug a pool, water can flow into and out of it. You become a source of life and generosity to others as you experience a filled up pool that easily is able to pour it out to others.
So here is my encouragement to you, wherever you are in your journey of giving—whether you are standing that the stream or you are starting to dig—keep going! Keep making those choices to give and to give abundantly. Digging the well of generosity is not an overnight pursuit. It comes after time and time again of giving obediently. I know it is hard, but remember, you are digging yourself a pool so that you can become a refreshing pool for many to benefit from.
And remember: God is able to make all grace abound towards you always. Not just when it rains—and trust me, it will rain—but in those moments when your pool is dug and half filled with some water flowing in and some water flowing out. The Bible says you will ALWAYS have ALL sufficiency. More than enough. Always provided for. That’s the God I know. And in due time, you WILL reap a harvest, a harvest of abundance and most importantly, a harvest of abounding grace.