Mar 06, 2022 877 Ellen Hogarty, USA

Trust without Borders

Does my trust in God rely heavily on my bank account, property and resources? Or do I really put my trust in God without borders?

A missionary family came to stay with us at the Lord’s Ranch for a time of rest after returning from a mission post in a third-world country. At lunch, one day they shared a wonderful story about the Lord providing. They were living in a very poor neighborhood and people often came to them asking for help. The missionary family received a monthly stipend for their living expenses, and usually by the end of each month finances would be tight. They did not have a refrigerator in the house or even any cupboards, so whatever food they needed for that day they would buy at the market and that’s what they would eat.

One month as they were looking at the budget, they saw that they were down to the bare minimum—hardly enough to eke out some simple meals until the next stipend arrived. And then they heard a knock at the door. A knock at the door usually meant that someone in need was coming to ask for something. The parents told the kids, “Don’t open the door. We don’t have anything to spare.” Mom and Dad knew they hardly had enough to feed their own family. But the kids, horrified, told their parents, “Where’s your faith?!” One of the kids said, “If you trust in yourself, you leave no room for God to do marvels.”

Chagrined and corrected by the response of their children, the parents opened the door. Indeed, it was someone asking for help, and the kids gave away everything they had on hand to a family needier than themselves. “Alright, here we are,” the dad said after he closed the door. “We’re going to be very hungry this week.”

Relating the story to us, he then said, “Oh me of little faith! You should have seen the provision that came flowing in that week! Somebody brought us some rice, another person brought a wheelbarrow full of coconuts, somebody else brought by sugar cane. We also got invited out to eat that week. We were shown yet again the truth of God’s Word, ‘Give and it shall be given to you.’”

He was quoting Luke 6:38 when Jesus tells His disciples, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

When I reflected later on this wonderful testimony, I asked myself, “Where is my trust? Is it in my resources, my bank account, my property? Or is it in God?” I thought of what one of the missionary kids had said, “If you trust in yourself, you leave no room for God to do marvels.” Do I leave any room in my life for God to do marvels? Is my trust without borders?

As we approach the season of Lent, the Church invites us to an increased practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Almsgiving, especially when we give sacrificially and not just out of our surplus, can stretch our hearts and rid us of some of our selfishness. Let us put our trust in God without borders. It can also help us make room in our lives for God to surprise us with His marvelous and bountiful care and provision.

This Lent, let’s prayerfully ask the Lord how we can be more generous with the gifts that He has blessed us with, be it our time, our energy, our smiles—but especially our pocketbooks. As you follow those prayerful nudges to give alms, don’t be surprised when God fulfills His promise in Luke 6:38 of topping whatever we give with “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over…” As my dad often said to us, “You can never outdo the Lord in generosity!”


Ellen Hogarty

Ellen Hogarty is a spiritual director, writer and full-time missionary with the Lord’s Ranch Community in New Mexico. She blogs at cacklescorner.com.

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