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Pleasure in Gaining and Losing

Whenever I want to eat lunch or dinner in a fancy restaurant that I haven’t tried before, I always do research about that particular restaurant first. I ask recommendations from my friends and I google for customer reviews. The first thing I research about a restaurant, of course, is the taste of the food they serve. Second, is whether they give generous servings or not. Lastly, I check on the price. I always check the price last because it should be based on my first two criteria. If they serve delicious and mouth-watering cuisines with generous servings to satisfy the customers, it’s just appropriate to pay a price.

What comes into your mind whenever you hear or read the words generous and generosity? Some may think about kindness, goodness, sharing or giving in abundance. Others may also think about receiving something that is beneficial. More often than not, the words “generous” and “generosity” are associated with the acts of giving and receiving. When we give generously to others, we give something that would benefit them. One thing I’ve learned about generous giving is that it is not measured by the absolute amount, worth or count of something you gave. Generous giving is measured on how much you can give based on your capacity.

When I think about generous giving, I always remember God. I always remember his attribute of being a provider who gives generously for the needs of His beloved children. He gives according to what we need and most of the time, more than what we asked for. He is never early and never late in providing them – may it be our financial needs, emotional needs, physical needs, etc. He always gives something that would be beneficial for His children in the long run. His capacity? It’s infinite. We always see God’s generosity in the perspective of receiving something from the Lord. But what if God has taken away something precious from us? What if He took away something we really treasure in our hearts – that something we really prayed for? Do we still see God’s “generous giving” whenever He takes away?

As humans, by nature, we hurt when something we really treasure has been taken away from us. It could be our ambitions, career, business, education, talent, or etc. It is painful, indeed. It is normal to be hurting and there’s nothing wrong with it. But along with the hurting, we should always remind ourselves of God’s goodness, generosity and capacity. It’s a cliché that when God has taken away something, He replaces it with something better. It is because “…all things work together for good for those who love the Lord.” Romans 8:28.  We can highlight God’s generous giving in here because although He has taken away, it is still for the purpose of giving to us – something new, something better and something more beneficial for us that would glorify Him more. We cannot limit God’s generosity by receiving only the good things and good happenings in life because even in times of loss, God is still generously giving. In situations like this, I really admire Job’s attitude. He got devastated and lost everything he has, even his family, yet he recognized God’s sovereignty over all things:

“We bring nothing at birth; we take nothing with us at death.The Lord alone gives and takes. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21 

Just like the restaurants, they satisfy their customers when they give generous servings. God always generously gives – yes, even when He takes away – and that will surely satisfy us because He loves us. Our response? Turn it all back to God in praise.

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