{The Sparkle Box} Faith Always Triumphs Fear!


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DSC_0509I hold the red Sparkle Box, fingers clasped around it tightly. It’s not very fancy, merely a cardboard box from the Dollar Tree. It’s the same box that overturned my Christmas.  And here in the dining room, months after our Christmas decorations have been put away and Christmas toys have been lost and broken, the Sparkle Box continues to shine bright.

We never put it away. It sits in our dining room, a constant reminder, as we fill our bellies day in and day out, that somewhere nearby there’s a neighbor in need.

No one is allowed to peek into the box.

There have been times, when my call for the grand opening of the Sparkle Box brings complaints, “Oh mom, I’m doing …”

Other times, a child sits there knowing very well they have money and have not contributed. Somewhere between my ‘good stewardship’ and ‘generosity’ speech, they come back with a Quarter to satisfy me.

Days like that, I’m saddened.

Inside, I’m hollering, “God doesn’t need your money. He simply wants your trust and obedience!!!! Now go upstairs and get that 5-dollar bill out of your dresser. Bring it down here, without complaining… do it with a cheerful attitude, and no one will get hurt!

Now! This is THE Sparkle Box we’re talking about, for goodness sake!”

Sometimes, I want to do that. But I stay quiet instead and pray, “Lord, teach them.”

And we move on as though everyone gave his or her best seed. We pray. We thank God for His faithfulness, and we pray that He would show us how to use our seed to bless others. We pray for a heart of compassion and mercy. We pray for a heart of generosity.

Then there are times like yesterday.

“Okay, it’s Sparkle Box time! Everybody in the Dining Room.”

“Sparkle Box? Yay!” my five-year-old always gets excited about this.

“Come on, let’s see how much we have for Jesus this time!”


We spoke again about God’s display of generosity in our lives and how we, too, are called to practice generosity.  And just when I thought I was losing them, “Okay, let’s go ahead and open it and count up our seed…

As I get ready to open the lid my son extends his hand across the table. With fingers resting on the lid of the Sparkle Box, stopping me from opening it, he says, “Wait, I think I want to give.”

This boy, he’s special.

He’s been saving for a wood burning kit. He has a wallet full of money and he knows it. He’s almost halfway to his saving goal, yet his heart is being tugged. He’s confronted and he doesn’t know what to do.

I look at him. This time, inside I’m not hollering. This time, I am looking into his fear-filled eyes. You know, that fear that causes you to grip onto something so tight because you fear letting go means you’re never going to get it again… yep, I know that fear.

It’s that fear that comes rushing at us when God asks us to do something that gets in the way of what we had planned.

It’s that fear that doesn’t allow us to open up the tight hold we have on things.

And inside, as I watch faith and fear having an all out tug-of-war battle, I pray for him, “Lord, help him to be obedient to your leading.

“Sweety, the hardest part is letting go of the fear that if we give up what we have in our hand, we will never get it back. The hardest part is trusting that what God has for us is better than what we’re holding onto. Faith crushes fear.”

With his hand still over the box, he asks questions. I give answers. He doesn’t want to miss what God is doing. I know it because he doesn’t move his hand off the box, preventing me from continuing.

There are more questions followed by silence.

Opposite side of me at our dining room table, my son sits. He’s being stretched. God is asking Him to believe.

I sit in holy silence, a witness to the Holy Spirit at work in my child. I dare not interfere. I dare not manipulate the situation. I dare not speak.

I’ll be right back,” his hand has now lifted off the box and he’s making his way upstairs.

He comes back with his seed in hand.

And there in-between us, sits a cardboard box from the Dollar Store beckoning, “Do you dare believe?

Sometimes you don’t see what you want to see.

But sometimes, kingdom work unfolds before you with God at work in the next generation of God-warriors.

And when this happens, watch closely,  faith always triumphs over fear!

Today’s Challenge:

  • When it comes to your family, do you try to play “Holy Spirit helper”?
  • Teach and instruct…
  • Having done your part, can you be still, allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work?
  • If you’re constantly putting your hands in, what drives you to this?
  • How can you put your complete trust in God regarding your family?

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Posted on April 1, 2013, in 2013 {Live Life Fully Committed} Challenge, 3-5 YEAR OLDS, DEVOTIONALS, FAMILY LIFE, MOTHERING ON PURPOSE, Our Children, Our Christian Walk, PARENTING, SPIRITUAL GROWTH, TEENS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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