In 2018, I suffered a devastating personal loss when a beloved family member died suddenly and tragically. The mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish was crippling and I found myself firmly stuck in the anger stage of grief. To me, it seemed like everything had been specifically planned to cause me as much pain as possible. I struggled to connect with God, who bore the brunt of my rage.
This fracture in my relationship with Him came to a head when I realized I would receive some inheritance money. The feelings I had about this money were already complicated and the idea of paying tithing on it distressed me. I wasn’t sure what to do. I searched the church handbook, online forums, and more to try to understand what was required of me. I ultimately took the matter to the Lord in prayer and felt strongly that yes, I did need to pay tithing on this money.
I did not react well to that. My heart hurt badly at the thought of having less in any way after so much previous loss. In that prayer, I cried out to God, “You killed the person I love and now you want me to pay you for doing it.”
I repented of that and tried to humble myself. When I received the money, I paid my tithing. For me at the time, it was a great act of faith in a God I was struggling to trust.
This past summer, I faced a great amount of financial anxiety as a major life change and the current state of the economy pressed in around me. As I sought peace, I experienced multiple promptings of comfort and care. It was made clear to me that I have always given faithfully to the Lord and that by keeping the law of tithing and sacrificing as abundantly as I could, I would be protected. Those promptings have come to pass.
In the Lord’s great direction to the prophet Malachi to tithe, He says, “prove me now herewith..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.”
While not all the blessings we receive from living the law of tithing are financial, I have found myself taken care of in every instance. The windows of heaven have opened in unexpected ways to let me know I am always in the Lord’s care. I know the feelings of peace and security I have come from my obedience to God’s commandments. I know just how hard it is in many circumstances to pay tithing. I know the literal and emotional sacrifice it takes. I also know that the Lord desires to abundantly bless us as week seek to return to Him, just as the Israelites Malachi entreated to return.