When the Lilacs Bloom


We’re continuing our study of the building blocks. Have you completed your Soul Care Plan for 2017?  .Soul Care Plan Link Today’s topic is building block “G”, for Generosity.

Today’s scripture: Exodus 35:4-29 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

Often I think of God as a great motivator who has millions of ways to reach deep into our hearts and minds, seeking to communicate that, yes, we are loved — by God Almighty!

Think of your favorite flower. For me, it’s a lilac bloom. God could have made it a lot less attractive, with a much less glorious scent, and it could still probably perform its function in the grand scheme of things. But, God made it tender, fragrant, and soothingly beautiful to look at — something to inspire us, and show us how much we are loved.

And, take a moment to think about a zebra; a parrot; a beautiful sunset; a loyal, loving pet; those people you love most deeply. All of this makes me realize that yes, God is love. And this realization has my mind telling me, “I want to give some of this away!” I’m sure it works in a similar way for you. And so, the seed of generosity is planted in our souls, with the potential of becoming as big as a towering Sequoia.

In these verses, Moses speaks the command from God for the people to build the ark, tabernacle, and tent with beautiful materials like gold, silver, and bronze, to be contributed as freewill offerings. How interesting that Moses asked for “whoever is of a generous heart” to provide these valuables! Today, just as in Exodus, God is looking for generous hearts to help fulfill important missions. God seeks to inspire us with love and grace, so that we want to be generous!

Today, this week, at this point in your life — are you inspired to be generous? I hope you are, but consider this: as I write this, my lilac bush is an ugly, barren structure of boring, brown sticks. It looks dead, and the 6 degree temperature is giving no indication of a “resurrection.”

Do you have seasons in your life that resemble the lilac bush — little or no indication that a green leaf will ever sprout again, let alone a bouquet of blooms? And does this cause your inclination for generosity to die also? It definitely happens to me sometimes. But, it’s in times like these when I believe we can learn the most. We can tap into the amazing reality of faith, which, to me says, “Even if I can’t see it now; even if I feel lousy, and it doesn’t look this is ever gonna change — I still rejoice in your love, God! And I still want to be generous. You’re just as real now as when the lilacs bloom!”

Thought for the day: As I grow in my realization of how deep and all-encompassing God’s love is, I grow in my desire to give it away!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.