Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land,
Everlasting joy will be theirs. (Isaiah 61:7b)
I’ve been reading through Isaiah for about a month now, and this morning as I read through the 61st chapter, I came across this verse. Interestingly, the term “double portion” is used twice within two verses, so God was trying to make a point.
I had to smile when I read it. God gave me a double portion just yesterday to reward me for giving to someone.
I had received an email from a friend stating that she knew of a young mother who was struggling to make a living for her two kids, and had recently been let go from her job at a convenience store because she had been robbed a couple of times and couldn’t be “depended upon.” She had also been assaulted and hospitalized at one point. And she couldn’t be depended upon? Really? The young woman was in dire straits financially.
I dropped off a check for the young woman at my friend’s house. The next day I drove up to my cabin in the mountains to meet a carpet cleaner. I grabbed the mail in the mailbox…it was fairly full because I hadn’t been there in months. I didn’t expect anything beyond the usual junk mail, and didn’t go through it until after the carpet cleaner had departed. Then, standing next to my car with the passenger door open, I went through the mail and spied a slim envelope with what looked like a check in it. I opened it, and found a check inside for exactly twice what I had given to the young woman. I fell to my knees, completely awed at the majesty of our God, and thanked Him for giving back to me.
I looked at the date on the check. The check was cut October 11. I was there at my cabin exactly a week later. Considering how long it would have taken to get through the mail system, it probably landed in my mailbox a day or two before. The check was from a class action settlement…you know, one of those lovely little surprises that happens a few times in your life. God’s timing was so exquisite that He had the check in my hands literally the day after I gave the money away.
I very rarely get “serious” mail at my cabin because I’m not often there. But since God loves to surprise me and show me that I can never, ever predict what He will do, He often throws these things from left field, so to speak.
If I could make only one statement about God, it would be that He is faithful. And when we give to the needy, He gives back far more than we give away. We often forget that God is the only One whose funds are unlimited. He never runs out of money. But we are His agents of change. We are the people whom He expects to help the needy and the downtrodden.
And by the way, I’m not trying to brag about what I did. In fact, I was glad to have an opportunity to make up for what I did a week or so ago when a young man came up to me at the gas station, and asked for money to fill up a gas can because he’d run out of gas, and I told him I had none. (I had no money but I certainly had a debit card–yet I turned away from him. Why couldn’t I have spent $5-$10 on him?) And to add more shame to my poor behavior, my daughter saw that her soccer coach was also at the gas station, and he gave the man money to fill up his gas can.
I kicked myself for the next week every time I thought about what a jerk I was. But our gracious God gave me another chance and I leapt at it, and He rewarded me with a double portion.
That’s grace. So much more than I deserve.