Literally. The. Exact. Same. Amount.
Now to put this in perspective the week before Steve and I had been out looking for stuff for our new house and as we are driving around I had really felt God speak out of the blue (this seems to be becoming a regular occurrence at the moment - not sure if to be excited or afraid (; )..... 'you guys need to give $x amount to 'said person'....... I then proceeded to enter a bit of discussion (or maybe argument would be a better description) as I started to think 'we can't do that, we need that, we wont be able to do this if we do that, are we suppose to starve the kids for a month? Must have heard you wrong God, wouldn't half the amount help them out? there is bound to be someone else who could do this?' and on and on it went. The bottom line was that what He was asking required some sacrifice and I wanted to be selfish. The discussion continued for some time. You get the picture! BUT the more I argued the more it was clear that no, in actual fact I had heard clearly. Yes to give and yes 'that' amount. When I told Steve his immediate willingness and sense of peace not only surprised him but me too and it was pretty clear that it would simply be disobedient not too. So we committed it to God and said if this is what we are to do then God all our concerns are in your hands...... We'll be obedient because YOU promise to look after us - and even though in our human minds right now this makes no sense and it doesn't seem wise honestly - we'll do it (some reluctance noted!!!). It was one of those moments when our minds were telling us - WHAT this is crazy..... but our hearts and spirits were saying 'its ok'.
So we wrote the cheque/check.
( Oh and sent an email whilst in the car so that we wouldn't back out!).
We re-adjusted our financial plans accordingly (our human minds wanting to ensure we sorted plan B just in case) and thought nothing else of it............
But then that unappealing white envelop got opened and we are left blown away.
You see opening the envelop hasn't really been about the money and what we can or cant do with it. No its been an incredible reminder of God's amazing love for us, about a faith journey of trust in Him that when He speaks, when He asks us to do something we have a choice because He doesn't force us to obedience, but that if we choose to listen and choose obedience He's always got our back. He always has a bigger plan and that sometimes we won't be able to see that plan in the moment we have to make the choice but that actually He wants to know we trust Him.........and only Him. He wants to overcome our humanness and our minds. He wants to teach us to go to deeper depth and higher heights in Him and know there is nothing that brings greater joy than knowing him and living life's adventures with Him. This is just a little story that makes up our story with Him but its a story that's been repeated over and over throughout history and my only desire to share it is as an encouragement that God is still writing these stories today as He always has...... not always with provisions of money........ but stories of trust in Him, stories of blind obedience.... from Abraham taking his son Isaac to the alter or the women whose jar had run dry but when told to make bread found suddenly there was enough flour and oil, to Jesus ultimate obedience to death on a cross, to Peter getting out of the boat to walk on water (or sink as I'm sure he thought!) ...... to thousands and thousands of daily stories like these happening right now all around the world. And in everyone God was in control. God had the bigger picture. God had a way. God allowed freedom and choice. It was God who brought blessing and joy and a richness to life that could only be had by people making the choice to be obedient to Him.
Today is Good Friday - the day we remember the incredible example of blind obedience - Jesus dying on the cross having done nothing wrong, being punished for the sins of the whole world but that through His obedience and choice that day to listen to His Father to go to the cross brought freedom for the whole world - including you and me today.
The fruit of His obedience is mind boggling. Seriously. Mind. Boggling.
And it strikes me that we have this same choice daily - its simple but sometimes it requires so much to overcome our humanness to listen to the One who us asking....Will you be obedient? And often its almost 'blind' with no guarantees.......... Often without any solid knowledge of the fruit or repercussions.
The only knowledge we do have is that when we are relationship in Jesus we have every guarantee we could ever need!!!! His promises aren't watery or failing. We know He is good, He has good things for us and He delights in our gift back to Him - obedience.
So I encourage you to listen and to do it. Listen out for the nudge or leading..... don't ignore it! Although God doesn't 'need' you to always listen to fulfil His plan He's giving you the choice to be part of the adventure......because He loves you and wants you on board. As a family we are learning more and more everyday to surrender ourselves to this place too, sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't........ but I dare you to get involved in the wild adventure of obedience, the adventure of going it blind in the big and small - whether that's moving continents or stopping to ask someone how they are today, or blessing someone financially or choosing to make time for something or someone...... for each of us it will be different - I know if you do you'll never regret it!