In Luke 6:38, Christ says, "Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap." In its original context, it refers to dry goods being meted out at the marketplace. I love this analogy, though, not because I buy in bulk very often, but because I cook. And any cook, I think, can get a really good idea of what God is talking about here.
I cook like I live: sloppy and a little all over the place. I usually follow a recipe but it is a suggestion at best. I tend to use a lot of substitutions. Once I am finished, the kitchen looks like a war zone. I have found flour in places that defy explanation. The result, however, is pretty darn good if I do say so myself. If you doubt me, come over some time and I'll cook you a chicken fried steak that will knock your socks off.
Despite this unorthodox cooking method, I am a fan of the measuring cup. Unlike Rachel Ray, I do not often eyeball it. I also am a fan of brown sugar. Full stop. On or in anything or even just by the spoonful. When the Bible says "pressed down," I always think of recipes that call for brown sugar, firmly packed. Sorry, I drooled a little when I typed that, excuse me. If you bake, you know. A fourth of a cup of brown sugar, firmly packed, is a heck of a lot more than a fourth of a cup of brown sugar. If you press hard enough, you can fit half a package in that cup.
So this is what God is going to do with our blessings. He's going to take them, compact them down to where more and more and more fit, then He's going to even take it a step or two further. He's going to shake the cup, so cracks show around the edges and it settles a little on top. Then He's going to add more. He's going to add so many blessings that they overflow over the top of our little measuring cup, spill over into our laps, and we have to gather up the edges of our shirt to even carry them all. Wow!
That is what happened to me this week. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Phillip is very recently between jobs and I am a stay at home mom. Needless to say, things were getting a little scary around here. I trust in God's provision, I know he is Jehovah-Jireh, Our Provider. It is very difficult to keep anxiety at bay when you watch the number in your bank account and the items in your pantry dwindle, though. Then friends started arriving. They came with smiles and love and STUFF. They stocked our pantry, filled our freezer, and put gas in our cars. They sent encouraging emails, made thoughtful phone calls, and held us up in their prayers. Pressed down, shaken together, running over.
Give and it will be given to you. It doesn't have to be money. Give smiles; give encouragement, kindness, and hospitality. A listening ear, a comforting hug. If you have an extra coat, give it to someone cold. Let people know that you care about them, that you are with them in their trials, and pray for them. It will be payed back to you in spades, I promise and so does God. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the family and friends God has placed in my life. Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart and thank you, Lord God, for that good measure.