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I’m sitting at my desk staring at the numbers. They look dismal.

Still, for some reason lately God is urging me to tithe on my gross income. Since tithing became a habit, I’ve only been able to muster the net. He’s never bothered me about it before.

Now in the toughest month since I have given up a steady income, I suddenly feel God asking for more.

The timing is inconvenient.

God, if I tithe on the gross, I won’t be able to live on the remaining amount for next two and a half weeks, I reason with him.

Silence.

God, this is crazy. Why now?

Silence.

I’ve given you my job, my income, my life … What more do you want?

I want it all.

Somehow I don’t think we’re talking about just money anymore. The words from a worship song play at the fringes of my mind.

“You won’t relent until you have it all. My heart is Yours.”

I always thought those lyrics were a bit ironic. If your heart is His, why won’t He relent? I question the songwriter hypothetically.

Yet, now, I understand what it feels like to think you’re giving everything, then watch Him show the areas you are holding back.

I can’t this time, I tell him. Next time, I resolve, scrawling the information on the appropriate lines on the check. I hesitate with my pen over the amount box.

With tears rising to my eyes, I write out the gross amount.

I don’t like the moments when my lack of trust shines through, after he’s provided time and time again, sometimes in miraculous ways. Sometimes I wonder if He grows weary of me clinging to my independence and control. Yet even that question lacks understanding of His grace.

Each time I ask, as if He has never come through before, God please come through this time.

And each time, despite my doubt, He does. That’s what I cling to now.

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