“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. People curse those who hoard their grain, but they bless the one who sells in time of need.”
Proverbs 11:25-26 NLT
The wilderness can have the effect of turning my attention entirely in upon myself. This is understandable, for I have a strong urge to survive. Yet, God is for me; therefore, despite feelings to the contrary, I am in fact completely safe. But it’s so hard to lose or let go of that inner nervousness.
Quite some years ago I was privileged to go on safari in Zimbabwe with my friends Pradip and Amita. We were informed that we would be accompanied to our huts and then collected each morning. So as I entered my hut for that first night, with chicken wire across the window, I was excited and nervous in equal measure. I heard the sounds of unfamiliar animals and, peering through my small window, saw a hyena in close proximity. Not entirely convinced by the chicken wire mesh, I had a fitful night’s sleep
The wilderness is full of unfamiliar sounds, sights and smells. We lack the experience to navigate these easily and, with our senses overwhelmed, we are often stressed through these many new sensations. Yet, there remains one constant – God; albeit in an unfamiliar context. We have no experience of connecting and walking with God in this new space. So we enter a learning curve. With our first taste of something new, we recognise how little we know about how to move forward. This offers us the opportunity to be stretched and to develop new understanding and with it, new skills for deepening our friendship with God.
Part of the learning is to lift our eyes off our particular circumstances, stop our complaint and seek to live as a blessing to any who we encounter in our wilderness. Learning to bless, when all I desperately seek is blessing for myself, is the route of sacrificial love and the highway into the fullness of life Jesus has promised (John 10:10).
How can you bless, be generous or refresh someone else today?
Lord Jesus, help me to forgive as I am forgiven, love as I am loved, serve as I am served and bless as I am blessed in you.
PHOTO – Fan vaulting, King’s College, Cambridge