Tuesday, November 18, 2008

chest of joash

at the gathering every year they do a speical sacrificial offering that they call the chest of joash. the name comes from the story in 2 chronicles where king joash places a chest outside the temple and the people came gladly to place their monies in the chest for the rebuilding of God's temple. our chest is the equivalent of that with every family asked to bring equal sacrifices not equal gifts. and of course the money collected goes towards our pledge for the new campus.

on december 5 & 6 chris and i will get to experience the chest for the first time and i am so looking forward to it. a big part of the chest is not only bringing our sacrificial offering in order to capture the attention of God to make a humble request for a miracle. now that is a mouthful but i want to break it down for you so you do not get the wrong impression.

when i first heard of this offering it was very reminscent of the prayer of jabez craze that went on about 5 years ago and it disgusted me. i am not one to give offerings in order that God will bless me or give me something in return. i think that is extraordinarily selfish and supercilious. but as pastor gene as taught on the subject of the chest and given us examples of people who gave sacrificially it has all started to make more and more sense.

take the story of hannah. (i know i have used her a lot on this blog, but bear with me). year after year after year hannah prayed at the temple that God would give her a son. her husband would even give her a double portion of an offering to bring to the temple because he loved hannah so much and she would bring it all to the Lord. her persistence captured the attention of God and He heard her humble request for a son. how was her request humble? because she made a vow that if God would grant her a son, that she would give him back to the Lord. finally after many years hannah had a son and at the age of about 3 she took samuel to the temple, dressed like a priest, and left him there to be taught by the temple authorities. later we see that hannah went on to have 5 more children, none of which are named, i might add, and that samuel would become one of the greatest prophets.

is that not so amazing to all of you? well chris and i have been praying about what it is we want to sacrificially give, what we think our pledge should be, and what our miracle is that we want to pray for. sacrificially giving we have decided on an amount, but for me there was something else i needed to lay down. while i can honestly say that i am completely content to wait however long it is God will have us wait to have a child, i have not been able to let go of the child that we created and lost. and God impressed upon my heart to lay her down and give her and all the hopes and dreams i had for this baby back to Him. so that is exactly what i am going to do. we have decided on our pledge amount for the new building and we have decided on what we want our miracle to be.

by now you might be thinking it is a baby, but you are mistaken ( i told you i have a peace). instead we are praying for chris' dad, randy, that he would come to know the Lord. we are going to give all that we have so that God will look down at us and see our sacrifice so we can humbly humbly ask Him to bring randy to Him. and then we are going to wait for our miracle. pastor gene thinks hannah waited a minimum of 15 years, and if that is how long we must wait, then we will. but i believe with all of my heart that if we truly give Him all that we have, He will look upon us and hear our cries and save randy's soul. so now i ask you to please also pray with us, not only in the coming weeks, but throughout the next however long it takes, that God would rescue randy.