“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure– pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38

Most of the time when we see this scripture, we automatically think about money. I can attest to the faithfulness of God when you do finances according to His plan. I continue to experience that in my life on a daily basis. He continues to surprise me in so many ways when I put Him first with my money, but what if I shared with you that giving includes so much more than just money. He wants you to experience His blessing in giving in every area of your life.

In one of the darkest times in my life, I decided to put God to the test. This was a time of depression, darkness, and despair for me. I didn’t feel like I had anything to give to anyone as I was at the end of my rope, but God showed me different. He proved to me that I did have something to give, and that was the gift of encouragement and hope. He let me know that no matter the situation that someone was facing, I had the key to that person’s hopelessness, and that key was Himself.

He led me to begin a journey of pouring into others with words of hope and encouragement. He showed me people that were struggling that needed to experience His love in what they were facing. I would listen to God and let Him show me just who He wanted to speak words of life into for that day. Some days I had to make myself do this because I didn’t feel that I had it within me to give. God showed me that on those days, He was the one that was giving me the words to say. I was just a conduit. He poured into me, and likewise I poured into others. So many times I would hear over and over from these people that they needed to hear that special message from God at that particular moment in time. Talk about a humbling experience!

Then, He led me to begin sharing quotes on social media of all of the truth that He was pouring into me. I clearly remember asking God if I had the ability to do this because I felt unqualified to share, but He clearly spoke to me that I did have what it took because I had Him and a desire to spread His joy into other’s lives. So I stepped out onto the water in faith with no safety net beneath me except God.

Next, He had me go out a little deeper and gave me the desire to begin recording inspirational videos to spread even more hope to others. I never saw myself doing this because it was far from my nature and definitely out of my comfort zone, but once again, God showed me that my desire to be a willing vessel was all that He wanted. He surprised me once again as He so often does.

Lastly, He gave me the burning desire to begin a blog post. Somewhere along my journey over the past year and a half, God developed in me a love for writing that I never knew existed. I remember being in school and greatly disliking having to write term papers and book reports, but somehow this was different because I got to share my story. He changed my heart! This all began from the simple practice of journaling and pouring out my heart to God on those precious pages. I never dreamed that something so simple as journaling could change my life, desires, and dreams, but it did. I certainly didn’t see that as a tool that God would use to encourage others, but once again He proved Himself faithful.

So where is all of this going with giving? I’m glad that you asked! Through all of the ways that God led me to encourage others, He showed me that I was giving. I was giving the gift of His love, hope, and encouragement. This wasn’t a monetary gift, but a gift to let them know that they weren’t alone, and that they could make it another day. God showed me that as I was giving out of my dark and difficult time, then He was giving back to me. He was encouraging me, healing me, and putting me back together as a whole person all from sowing into others that were hurting just like I was. In my flesh, I didn’t want to do this. I wanted to focus on my hurt and pain, but He showed me that I did not need to do that. I needed to pour into others from the deepest part of my pain – from the ugliest parts of my depression. In turn, God blessed me so much more than I ever gave away. He showed me that I was encouraging myself in Him. That was the greatest gift!

Today I stand before you as a whole and healed woman of God. I am experiencing His true shalom in my life. I learned a great lesson that you can’t ever out-give God no matter what area you test Him in. I’m overwhelmed with joy just thinking about how God used my simple acts of obedience to make me into the woman I am today. I don’t like the journey that I had to walk on, but I wouldn’t change all of the beautiful truths that God has given me the privilege to experience.

So where is God asking you to give? Is it words of encouragement like myself? Is it money to a specific ministry? Is it the gift of time with your friends or family? Whatever He’s asking you to sow into, just make up your mind that you’re going to be obedient. Then you’ll find out that He will bless you even greater than the thing that He ever asked you to give away. Test Him in this. Try Him. You’re going to be greatly surprised at His faithfulness to you!

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