"You said I owed you."

1 Chron. 29:14 - "But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You" (NASB).

Last week Anna and the boys visited family who live around Nashville, TN. Of course, this left the care of the home and pets solely in my hands. Things were going fine, until I came into the house after being gone all day, and I caught a strong smell coming from the hamster's cage. Poor Cutie needed a refill on her water and food and desperately needed her bedding changed. As I got to work, I gave Anna a call to visit with her and catch up on the day's activities when I heard Cianan in the background in TN. So I jokingly told Anna to let Cianan know that he owed me for cleaning the hamster's cage.

As I lay in bed one morning after they got home, I felt something moving around me. I opened my eyes to find Cianan placing a quarter into my right hand as he whispered, "You said I owed you, dad, so here you go." As I tried to figure out what was going on, I remembered my teasing about Cutie's cage and realized that Cianan had given me one of my own quarters that he had found on my bedside table. To appreciate what had just happened, you have to understand one of our family habits. Anna and I routinely give the boys our pocket change to put in their piggy banks, so Cianan simply assumed the quarter was his even though I hadn't given it to him yet.

As David offered this beautiful prayer of gratitude in 1 Chron. 29, he understood that everything the Israelites possessed already belonged to God. God really didn't need all the items that had been donated for the temple. But He was still pleased at the willingness and the desire of the people to honor Him, even if it was with things He already owned. We begin to understand the generosity of God when we realize He has provided all the gifts we have ever offered Him! In God's eyes we are simply giving Him things we have taken off His bedside table. What should truly humble us is that every token we give Him out of gratitude, no matter how large or small, and despite that they were never truly ours to begin with, brings a smile to our heavenly Father's face and He is pleased.

Jeremy Dehut

(Originally posted 7/30/09)