But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!” (1 Chronicles 21:24)
Relate: Right now I have twenty dollars in American sitting in my back pocket. If I were to convert it into Turkish Lira, the local currency, with that money I could buy jeans and a t-shirt. I could get three decent meals, five trips to Starbucks, or fifteen tavuk doner (chicken gyro, sort of). That twenty will not be used for any of those purposes.
Here in Istanbul there are about 360,000 Syrian refugees (more than all of Europe and America combined). A very large portion of these are unregistered and undocumented and since there are only so many under the table jobs (selling roses, pens, tissues, water, etc) available, it is a common sight to see kids often as young as four or five looking real sad rubbing their bellies with one hand while the other is extended in the hopes of a lira or two. I wish I could do more to help all of them and virtually all my loose change goes into their hands, but their need is just too great and my income too small. Even still, one of those kids will soon be receiving twenty US. I am waiting for the right child at the right moment. I can’t wait to see their eyes bug out when they get it. That look is worth far more to me than a nice dinner for two.
React: As valuable as that twenty might be, and as eager as I am for that moment, that gift will not truly be a sacrifice. Just a few days earlier my mom gave me a bunch of twenties at the end of my visit in NY. It was a gift of which I am passing a bit forward. That is all too often the case with the things we do and the gifts we give to God. Every gift and every noble act done in God’s name is good, but rarely are they truly a sacrifice. Sacrifices of spare twenties don’t prevent plagues. If we truly want to present an offering that will save a nation, we need to go all in. Are we willing? Am I? Are you? How much will it cost?
Thank You so much for the many, many ways You have blessed me. Thank You for gifting me with the ability to be a blessing to others like the one sitting now in my back pocket. But God, I don’t want to stop there. Give me such a deep love for You and passion for Your world that I would give till it hurts and then keep on giving. In my sacrifice to You, if the answer to the question, “How much does it cost” is not everything then I have not yet surrendered enough. I am not there yet, God, but help me to continue moving in that direction. I want to want to give you my everything.