Today, I was given a purse that cost half what he paid for his truck.
Today, I enjoyed time with girlfriends, eating cupcakes and salad with strawberries.
Today, I spent some time with a friend who is a missionary to Cambodia.
Today, I'm having a hard time resolving what seems to be two different aspects of the same, good God. I serve a God who often asks me to do hard things - to live sacrificially. I serve a God who requires me to not just understand the gospel, not just espouse the gospel, not just preach the gospel, but also to "live of the gospel", meaning to apply it to my ordinary, real-world relationships. This is often a hard thing to do. Cheap, this life isn't. It has cost me in profound ways. The law would be a far easier thing to live by - and no, law and Good News are not synonymous, though the same God is Author of them both.
I serve a God who asks my friends to do hard things, like live in Cambodia. He also requires them to apply the gospel to their ordinary, real-world relationships, and on top of that, they worry about their child's exposure to rat dander...and spiders as big as your hand can and do bite them. I haven't come near to that, in my service to God. My friends are the real deal, and I am the faux deal. (And it is okay for me to believe that. I'm not having a crisis, I simply esteem my friends - in a very honest way - as being better than myself.)
And I serve a God who happens to know that I love me a pretty, well made purse. I mean, I reckon He knows, since there is nothing knowable that He doesn't know in absolute perfection of wisdom. So He puts it on someones heart to gift me with a handbag that cost more than half what The Preacher paid for his truck.
Oh, but wait. The Preacher was very nearly given his truck. His truck is worth easily four times what the price was (car lots would charge six or seven times what he paid)...which takes me back to resolving the side of God that often asks Tim and I to do hard things, with the side of Him that blesses His boys with trucks, and gives His girls Eric Javits purses. You see...herein lies the rub: sometimes The Preacher and I obey God to the exact detail, and sometimes we don't. And yet He turns and blesses us with unearned, undeserved extravagance that defies our logic.
This is my exact purse, down to the color. Google Eric Javits and Neiman Marcus. Warning: sit down and spit out your coffee before you check the price. And make sure your theology can handle the fact that God often asks His girls to do the Actually Hard Thing (versus the Imagined Hard Thing, or the Self Imposed Hard Thing)...and He loves His girls so much, He sometimes gives them extravagantly expensive, and lavishly pretty purses for no real reason.
These are not easy issues to resolve, trust me.
You have been forewarned.