I’m really excited to join write31days.com for a second year! For the month of October, I will be joining many other bloggers in a challenge to blog every day of the month. My theme this year will be “31 Days of Offering Up”. “Offering up” is a phrase I read recently in the book, A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken. The phrase refers to sacrifice, giving up something dear to you, a letting go. We all have to let go of things throughout our lifetime. Sometimes those things are easy to part with, other times it seems like an impossible request of life. Our attitude during these times and how we view the sacrifice is the difference between living depressed or in contentment. In my life, sometimes I have chosen rightly, others I have fought the offering up required of me and found myself unhappy and discontent. But as I have seen, over and over, the reward of the sacrifice, it has become easier to let go of the things that I tend to hold onto so tightly. My selfishness weakens and I trust the One who is a rewarder of those who sacrifice. So I invite you to join me this month – to read the stories of my offering up and to remember your own offering up and that there is always a reward to the sacrifice. Today, on day 1, I will share with you a vision the Lord let me experience many months ago about this very thing….
I saw the Lord standing, with His arms widespread. I saw a line of people coming to Him, each one bearing a gift. Many of them looked mournful, they were bringing their gift to lay down at the feet of Jesus because they knew it was required but they were filled with sorrow because of the sacrifice required. So many would come, lay their gift at the feet of Jesus and turn and walk out the door, dejected and sad. But then there were some, they would lay their gift at the feet of Jesus and just sit down in His presence, like they were waiting for something. These were the people the Lord smiled at. He smiled because His intent is never for people to leave His presence empty-handed, and a few knew that. He wished the others would understand. When He calls us to sacrifice, to offer up, He always wants to refill our hands. And the Lord is amazing in His ‘trade’, He always trades up. He turns mourning into dancing. He turns sadness into joy. He gives beauty when we bring Him our ashes. We are never to leave empty-handed so when we give our gift and then just wait. He will always give us something in return. Our offering up is never in vain, He rewards the most precious gift we offer up to Him… with something even greater.