Our family have recently become recipients of Gods abundant generosity which has left me feeling very challenged.
Last spring we planted the first crops in our veggie garden. Cucumber, eggplant and tomatoes. Shortly after that, our second son was born and our garden was left to its own devices. In our neglect, God poured out blessing and we have been harvesting an amazing one to three kilos of tomatoes daily for four months, plus an abundance of everything else! It has been awesome in so many ways. My husband was never too keen on the whole thing but now he has experienced the taste explosion of home-grown food and is so keen! We have had so much food growing that we have hardly needed to shop, making life with two kids under two a little easier. It has also made deciding what to eat for dinner easy – fried tomatoes it is! Most wonderfully, though, it has forced me to slow down each day to pick tomatoes, giving me a great time to abide with my God and meditate on His Word.
While considering His abundant blessing poured out on my veggie patch, I have been challenged to live generously as He is generous. I have been really struck by the Old Testament concept of leaving the corners of the field.
In Leviticus 23:22, God instructs His people to leave the corners of their fields unharvested so the poor and others in need could gather it.
I thought of the many ways we can give in our world – the wonderful work of Strong Nation Community Services that directly helps those in need in our community; missionaries doing amazing things on frontiers all around the world; Oxygen-giving, enabling our church to do so many wonderful things, including putting chaplains in schools. And through faithful tithing, our churches are able to do so much, like have scripture teachers in primary schools so kids can hear the gospel. So, I’m picking tomatoes and feeling pretty good about life. “We are rocking this, Look at all the ‘corners’ we’re leaving everywhere. We give and our church does amazing things for the Kingdom – Hi-5 team!”… and then there is a little nudge from Heaven…
“I love you darling daughter, and yes, you do give in all those ways – well done! But none of that is ‘leaving the corners’…”
Boaz ‘left the corners’ – that’s how he met his wife, Ruth. As a righteous man, he would have been able to list just as many giving avenues. “I tithe the sacred tithe, the tithe of the feasts, the tithe for the poor, I bring my burnt offerings for sacrifice” AND he still left the corners of his field for those in need. It was different. It was extra. It was a personal engagement.
I have been challenged to figure out what “leaving the corners” looks like in our field, weaving generosity into our day-to-day family life. We needed to start somewhere, so, we looked in our hands, saw tomatoes and took a step, and have been cooking double dinners and freezing half so that, when opportunity presents itself, it is easy for us to respond with a few meals. Its small, but it’s a start.
So we’re cooking, freezing and looking for new things to do with tomatoes while we ask God to show us how we can leave corners and leave them generously.