It's so easy to do.
Someone we love is struggling. Someone we love has a big need they have no idea how they are going to meet. They are afraid.
So, we give them some money and fix it. Or, we write them a check. We come to their rescue.
And often this is the right answer. We are supposed to care for those God has put in our lives.
But sometimes it isn't the answer. Sometimes when we rush in and fix something, we have just taken away a blessing God meant to give.
My oldest son is a freshman in college. Today is his first day of classes. God has blessed him with a lot of intelligence. He did very well academically in high school which enabled him to get quite a few scholarships. He also enjoying helping and volunteering and so he got some scholarships because of these experiences.
This is good because my husband and I do not have a college fund for any of our children. We just do not have the means. My son knew he had to pay for his education. So, he worked very hard this summer and put a lot of money away.
Last week it appeared that he didn't have enough money. Plus, he got the college book shock just two days ago. All I could do is tell him to believe that God would come through. I told him he was where he was supposed to be. God wasn't going to stop providing now. I believed this but it is still kind of scary when you don't know what your next step is.
This morning he shared a blessing with me. His chemistry book costs $230. He needs it. Another student down the hall had three chemistry books. He gave my son one.
Did you read that?
My son was given a chemistry book! That is a blessing straight from God. If I had been able to buy him the book he wouldn't have experienced this unexpected blessing -- and the unexpected ones are the best kind. They are the kind that make a person laugh out loud. They are the kind that fills a person with incredible joy and remind a person how Great God is and how aware He is of where we are at.
So, we always ought to pray before we give. We may be the way God chooses to bless others. But then again, we may not be the way God chooses to bless others in specific situations. He always provides.
"Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy." 1 Timothy 6:17