Many years ago during a particularly difficult financial time I had a choice to make.
We had been living on very little, almost nothing, for some months. I had five young children and little to feed them. While I managed the best I could, the extreme deprivation was in fact making defeating inroads to my psyche and my perspective on the world.
I could feel a narrowing and a pinching of my heart and mind – a catch and grasp mentality was setting in.
We’d been living in a rural setting for some time and then moved to a house in the suburbs. With many other homes around us, with numerous kids now coming to play with my kids, I came face to face with my inner demons.
The question came down to apple slices, and who did I know God to be.
You see, with the neighbor children often over I had a choice to make. Would I share an apple with these new friends, or would I not?
For months on end with our fridge was next to empty, the cupboards mostly bare, with our food coming from leftovers of a nearby church, I was loath to share an apple with neighborhood children.
Before this time of poverty I would have shared an apple, and more, without a second’s hesitation. But after the difficulty had wormed its way through my heart I was finding this simple thing nearly impossible.
But I had a choice to make and it wasn’t so much about an apple, it was about my heart and the way I wanted to be in the world.
I could either choose to remain narrow and pinched, agreeing with the assignments of the enemy on our lives.
Or I could choose to share an apple out of faith and trust in a God who is bigger than I. I could agree with heaven or with hell. The choice was mine.
I chose to share apples.
Even though we barely had any, and what we did have could be gone tomorrow, I knew I wanted to live from who I knew God to be, not what my cupboards told me.
And that fearful, pinched place in my spirit was more scary than hunger had ever been.
Choosing to share apple slices with our little visitors began the shifting and the changing of direction that we all needed.
The pinched and narrow, suspicious and fearful, began to fall off like scales from my heart and mind and spirit.
That choice to walk in generosity and trust began its work of broadening my eyesight, expanding my reach, and creating a new path of life out of what had become destruction.
The choice is always ours. Either we live out of who we know God to be, or we live our lives out of our own circumstances and narrow perspectives.
One leads to life, the other doesn’t.
Which do you choose today?