“Do you know how many people we could bless?” the hunter says to me, glancing over his shoulder as I rummage through the makeup drawer. The spark in his eye is the same one I saw the moment I fell for him.
I apply under-eye coverup, base, mascara and the rest — never daring to look too closely at the lines — and my heart dreams of all we could do to help the broken. The manner in which this world batters people batters us: the world leaves hearts broke and achy and grappling for hope on new shores. How can we help?
What if being rich is defined by generosity? Not by how much you give but by how much you give up? By how much you want to give, because when you give you feel full?
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.'” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9)
What if being rich is providing for the needs of others? When they need help, you answer the call. What if you overflow into hearts and kitchens and rooftops and counseling centers and you sustain lives? What if being rich has more to do with sharing your plenty than it is living an exalted life? And what if it’s in the quietness of that giving, in the secret of it, that your heavenly Father brings peace to your home — simply because you held together the broken boards of anther family’s life?
What if being rich is joy in giving and provision from the plenty and it all comes without bitterness or grumbling, but with joy and thanks?
And what if being rich is sacrificing your comfort for another’s need and it actually makes you more comfortable to know that you are providing for another? Knowing when you fill your buckets at the store and throw away food gone bad and stock the pantry, you know you’ve helped another’s overflow, and that tastes delicious to you.
So when you need a new definition?
[pullquote]Generosity is yummy, sweet to the taste. Helping another is beautiful. Providing for those who want is priceless.[/pullquote]
And wealth? Wealth must be joy in giving. Must be peace in the offering. “You are already rich,” Paul writes (1 Corinthians 4:8). If Christ lives in your heart, you have everything you ever need. Your cup runneth over. Contentment is possible for you — just as much for those who are struggling. I know what it is to have plenty and to want, Paul writes — and I have learned the secret of contentment: gratitude.
So be rich in gratitude, and you will become rich. Be rich in generosity, and you shall possess wealth. Search for understanding as you would for a hidden treasure, and when you find it, you’ve discovered the pot of gold. In Christ you have all you need, and your heavenly Father knows what you need.
Rich in grace. Rich in giving. Rich in providing. Rich in humility. Rich in gratitude. Rich in forgiveness. Rich in peace. Rich in hope. Rich in love — and then, friend, together, we are becoming rich.
The crazy thing is, we find this pot of gold in the darkest hour. The jewels glimmer like the spark in the hunter’s eye — and the dancing lights wake the night with hope.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”