Friday, November 15, 2013

Windows of Heaven

I had an awesome opportunity to give a talk on Sunday about the blessings of tithing.  At first I was frustrated with my assigned topic.  We ALWAYS pay our tithing, and I have a very strong testimony of the blessings of tithing.  However, I didn't want to give a talk on anything that had to do with money right then.  I wanted to focus on the amazing things happening presently in my life... not the lack thereof.  I prayed so hard about the topic.  I wondered what insight I could offer others.

As I prayed about all these things, a beautiful experience took place:

About 5 years ago I bought a beautiful, large painting of Christ painted by Simon Dewey.  It was of Jesus Christ gently hugging 2 young children.

When I first saw it, the Spirit rushed over my body, and I knew I had to buy it. The little boy looked like my son, Tyson, and I wanted him to always envision himself in Christ’s arms.  The little girl on his lap didn’t look at all like either of my girls.  That was ok that she didn't, but I always wondered whom she could represent.

This picture has always been so special to me because I KNEW it was something I had been prompted to buy.  Simon Dewey actually signed the back of it and wrote:  "Rachel, Jesus loves the little children."

Of all our things that are still in storage right now, that painting is the only picture we have kept out of storage.  It is sitting on top of the dresser in our bedroom.

Last week after I finished a very heartfelt, pleading prayer, I looked up at that painting and burst into tears.  The recognition was so clear.  I knew that little girl!  It was me all along!!  For the first time ever, I saw myself in that little girl’s face.  God wanted me to see myself as a humbled child relying completely on HIS plan for me.

I wanted things MY way, but God obviously has BETTER ways.  He wanted me to be as that little girl and trust in HIS plan.

In my talk, I shared this beautiful scripture from the Bible about tithing:

Malachi 3:10

 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

I had wanted the "windows of heaven" to open in the form of a new job.  I had been so focused on our temporal needs, that I had forgotten how to settle more fully into Christ's arms and trust HIM.

Because of our struggles, my family and I have been compelled to do our best to increase our spiritual diligence in every area of life we can think of.  (FARRRR from perfect.)  In return, the Lord has opened spiritual "windows of heaven" into our lives as we continued to pay our tithing to HIM.

Yesterday my children and I volunteered to help pass out food for the needy at a food drop.  When we were done, Jordan whispered in my ear, "Mommy, the 'windows of heaven' are opening to us."

After the service project was over, there was a woman who needed a ride to the hotel where she was staying.  She had just moved to the United States with her 15-year old daughter from Puerto Rico two weeks ago.  I drove her around town for some other errands, and we talked extensively about the "windows of heaven."

We soon discovered that her father is a member of my church and lives in Utah.  I felt inspired to invite her and her daughter to our home for Thanksgiving dinner.  She tearfully accepted our family's invitation.  She expressed that she knew God's hand was in our meeting.  Although she had a beautiful life in Puerto Rico, this woman said she came to the USA because God gave her a dream that HE had a special plan for her life here.  We were both fully edified as we spoke of God's love and HIS limitless power.

I testify that the spiritual "windows of heaven" far outweigh any other blessing I thought I wanted.

As I prepared my talk for church, I felt God speak these words to my heart:  "Because of your struggles, the windows of Heaven have been poured out upon you as you were compelled to increase your spirituality within your home.”

I needed to let go of my tight hold on my temporal desires in order to better see the spiritual blessings overflowing from the "windows of heaven."