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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

 

October 2, 2013 - Money in the Sacks

By Randy Mantik

We'd all like a little extra money, wouldn't we? I know I pray for a large tax return every spring, but often end up owing something.

When my sister Carol was a child, our mom put an envelope that contained a few dollars and was addressed to "Milk and Cereal Offer" in the mailbox. It was one of those box top promotions. Carol, thinking the mailman had come, went out and snatched the envelope from the mailbox. She thought it read, "Mike (our brother) and Carol Offer" and ran in the house excitedly thinking, "There's money in the mail for us!"

As we grow older, we realize there is not often money in the mail, but usually just more bills. We know there are no "free lunches." Everything comes at a price. I think such a thought possessed Jacob when his sons came back from a trip to Egypt and found the money they had paid for grain needed during a famine was mysteriously back in their sacks.

This is how Jacob tried to remedy the perceived problem: "Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake" (Genesis 43:12, NIV).

Jacob's reasoning seemed logical enough; he was just trying to make things right. So he gave his sons twice the amount of silver to take back to Egypt with them to make the accounts balance. But by this act, Jacob proved he was still on a journey of faith. He couldn't see the possibility of God's provision. Why? We can only judge people in how we know ourselves.

Jacob did know himself pretty well by this point. He knew that much of his life he had been as his name meant — a grabber, supplanter and deceiver. Knowing his own tendencies, perhaps Jacob could think of no possible way God would allow the money back in the sacks save by some cruel joke that, when found out, would result in punishment to wipe out his entire clan. I believe Jacob's way of thinking precluded his possibility to see anyone else's way of thinking, especially God's.

How could Jacob have even imagined the miraculous turn of events in his near future? But that is exactly the point. God's message of surprising grace must have hit Jacob with full impact when he came to realize the seemingly tyrannical Egyptian ruler the family was dealing with was actually Jacob's cherished and desperately missed son, Joseph. Just thinking of that brings tears to my eyes.

Have that in perspective as you consider tough situations you might be facing today. In contrast to Jacob was his son Joseph, who said to the brothers who had been so cruel to him, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good" (Genesis 50:20).

I pray you see the blessing of God in your life today even though you might feel disturbed by some situation. See the good in it. Discern God's "money in the sacks" during the midst of your current challenges and heartaches. He has a wonderful purpose He will bring to light in His time.

— Randy Mantik is lead pastor at CrossPoint Assembly of God in Portage, Wis.

 

 

 

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