While I was growing up, my family and I always drank fresh milk. Once a week, my dad and I would gather four freshly scrubbed half-gallon milk bottles, take a ride to the neighboring dairy farm, and dip ladles of steaming milk into them. At home, once chilled in the refrigerator, the cream would separate and rise to the top. Each time we took out a bottle, we gave it a good shake and poured out what we needed. Rich cream would be mixed in for every serving, so no one in the family had too much or too little of what made the milk so good.
One of the things that God has changed in me since I have been working with refugees is in the area of giving. I truly love these men, women, and children; many are like family to me. I want to give them good gifts, things that are clean, useful, and heartfelt- something I would give to my own parent, sibling, or daughter. Using the analogy of that delicious fresh milk, I don’t think God is asking me to skim off the cream He has poured into my cup in order to give it to the needy, nor is He asking me to give the 10% remains of the stale, old milk from last week. What I’m compelled to give comes from my present cup filled with blessings. We give, God gives; we measure, God measures, and as this happens a beautiful cycle of gratitude and blessings begins to develop “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38