ALABASTER JARS

Life in Abundance


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Rodents in Life

by Cynthia Ward

There is nothing that can bring a man to his knees faster than a small rodent. I am watching two men looking out the window, waiting for a gopher to poke his head above ground. Now this does not mean they will be able to do anything to the gopher. It just means they will now be able to lay blame for the damage to the landscape on this evil rodent.

In the last two weeks, three different vehicles have been damaged, to the tune of $1200, by squirrels chewing on the engine wires of the cars. Now it’s gophers destroying the lawn.

In moments like this, it is hard to comprehend God’s plan when He created the rodent. But first, I should make it very clear—I am not, in any way, someone who has devoted her life to the study of rodents; nor am I someone who participates in lawn care. So my life is hardly disrupted by rodents. I actually enjoy watching squirrels scamper around. I even believe that, in the grand scheme of things, rodents are mini rototillers that replant our forests. Of course, I keep that information from men who seek revenge upon rodents.

Everything has been changed by sin. It is difficult to see the need for something when sin blurs our vision. Who sees the rainbow when the floodwaters are everywhere? Why notice the tiny new oak tree when all around us is the fire-ravaged timber?

Today, ask God to open your eyes to the blessings that you sometimes quickly overlook or misjudge because of the overwhelming burdens that come with it.

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Singin’ in The Blessings

by Cynthia Ward

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. “Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10, New International Version.

Tithing has always been a difficult task for me. I have read all the verses in the Bible; I have listened to all the sermons about the importance of tithing; and I have seen the blessings of tithing. But I continue to struggle with it. Recently, however, I began to understand what tithing really means.

You see, all along I thought that if I give my 10 percent, the Lord Almighty would “open the floodgates of heaven” and give me back that 10 percent and then some. But you know, not once does the Bible say that I’m getting the money back. What it does say is that I’m going to have so many blessings poured out so much that I will not have room to contain all of it. It says blessings, not money.

Blessings such as those I have experienced: Like the time when the insurance company started deducting my payment from my account a month later, when I was better prepared to pay the full amount. Or the time I got a gift card to purchase gas just when I was running out of money and wasn’t sure I’d be able drive my car to and from work. Then there was the time there was so much of leftovers from the company picnic that I had free meals for three days.
I guess my struggle comes from my focus on the money, not the blessings. I have been spending so much time waiting for my 10 percent check back from God that I forgot to notice all the blessings that were raining down on me. I was soaked in blessings and didn’t even notice or really care.

I still struggle sometimes, but when my first check each month is made out to God, I spend my time now singin’ in the blessings!