Not always evident

We all have those moments when we just feel called to pitch in and get something done. The urge to roll up our sleeves and get whatever lies ahead out of the way almost propels us forward with such a force that nothing can stand in our way. Then there are other times when a stick of dynamite could not move us into action! What's the difference between the two? One thing that stands out is the motivation that comes from within. At times, we are highly motivated, while at other times that motivation just isn't there. Is that wrong? I don't know for sure, but I think there are times when we aren't supposed to be the ones that rise up to meet the need - there are others who are called to do it. We aren't always to be the only ones rising up and taking action, but when we are called to do so, we should do it cheerfully, with gusto, and in a way that shows how much God's love is working through our lives.

The man who gives much will have much, and he who helps others will be helped himself. (Proverbs 11:25)

An old historian said, "The return we reap from generous actions is not always evident." (Francesco Guicciardini) Generous actions aren't always immediately returned - sometimes there is a long delay between the action and what some may call the 'reward'. Is it wrong to take the right action because we hope for some positive reward? If that is the only reason you take the action, and we want the reward for ourselves, then yes! If you take the action and trust that God will be honored in the action, no matter how long you wait to see the action's outcome, it was worth it! Guicciardini also said, "If you attempt certain things at the right time, they are easy to accomplish - in fact, they almost get done by themselves. If you undertake them before the time is right, not only will they fail, but they will often become impossible to accomplish even when the time would have been right."

Does the lack of evidence mean that an action didn't accomplish the thing God desired? Not always. In fact, there are going to be times we feel motivated to act, take the action, then see absolutely no evidence of any action having been taken. Do we then tell ourselves the action was fruitless? No, certainly not. Even the smallest action, taken for the right reasons, in the right timing, with the right motivation will yield results - we just may not see the results right away! I have added yeast to a recipe. The action of the yeast is not immediately evident, but let that dough sit long enough and you will begin to see the results of that action! The action was taken - the reaction was delayed, but it came!

Rise up when you are called to rise up. Sit when you are reminded you aren't the one to do the task. These are hard lessons to learn, but invaluable nonetheless. If you are moved into action, take the action as though you were doing it for Christ, not for any person or any reward. Don't be put off when you don't see the immediate reward for the generous action. It will come in time, often in ways you never expected, into the spaces of your life where you never knew you needed to be touched. Generous hearts stem from hearts touched by grace. Grace is always meant to be 'given away' - not looking for any reward or return, but because it was needed. Just sayin!


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