When I dream about what my financial life will look like after I finish paying off my student loans, big things come to mind. I do not dream about owning a huge house, a nice car, a vacation home or anything like that. I have crazy, big dreams.
You’ve all heard stories like this one. A single mom is struggling to pay rent, put food on her kids tables and get to work. For whatever reason, the father of her children isn’t in the picture: maybe he was abusive and she fled, or maybe he died during military service. Why he’s not there is not so much the issue as is his lack of presence. One day, this woman’s car dies, and she’s stuck. She has to get to work or she’ll lose her job. But she can’t afford to fix the beater car she drives. Out of seemingly no where someone hears about her plight and purchases a new car for her. She didn’t ask for this gift, but it meets her needs. It allows her to focus on other needs she and her family have. It changes her future.
You have heard stories, or know people who have been impacted by the generosity of those who are more fortunate. You’ve probably also heard about how their lives have been changed by that. I dream of being that person. I want to have the resources to go to a church and say “I heard about the needs of this person. Here’s $10000, can someone go with her to buy a reliable used car? If it costs less than this, the money is hers. My only requirement is that she not know where it came from.” Then sit back and watch how a blessing I have changes someone else’s life.
I want to do bigger things. It has always seemed that those bigger things were just dreams. A dream that is laden with someday.
This weekend I read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. The chapter titled “Your Best Life… Later” got me thinking more about these dreams. Chan paraphrases the story of the loaves and fishes in the Gospels. Jesus gathers a meager meal from one boy in the group of thousands, blesses it, and then hands it to the disciples to pass around. I always imagined the bread and fish multiplied on the spot so the disciples knew there was enough. But, when you read the story closer (Matthew 15), you find that the disciples most likely had to trust that Jesus would provide. So did the other 4000. And He did provide. They all ate enough. Enough to meet their needs, not their excess. The same is true of the Israelites in the desert after leaving Egypt- they had manna, quail, water, and clothes that did not wear out. Chances are they probably got tired of those things, but every day they were reminded of how much God provided. If I am honest with myself, I know that God has provided for me. I have more than enough to meet my needs. I am too comfortable with my excess. Chan said later in the same chapter
The gap is so extreme in our world that we have to take lightly passages such as Luke 12:33: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” How else can I walk out of a mud shack and back into my two-thousand-square-foot house without doing anything? The concept of downsizing so that others might upgrade is biblical, beautiful . .. and nearly unheard of. We either close the gap or don’t take the words of the Bible literally.
That is powerful. I dream of doing something big and radically changing lives when I have more in the far off future. But the reality is that I have more right now than many in the world will ever have.
I believe that God is calling me to be faithful in the excess I have now so that in the future I can be faithful in the bigger things.
This call could mean a lot of things. I’m not really sure yet what it is practically. I just know that I cannot wait for God to give me even larger blessings in the future if I’m not using the smaller ones to impact the kingdom right now.
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!
In what ways is God calling you to be faithful in small ways now to your big future dreams?
Interested in reading Crazy Love? Buy it here.