Math was never my favorite subject in school. Don’t get me wrong: I loved to play “Around the World” with math flashcards, and I enjoyed trying to beat my classmates at speed drills and calculations on the board. But when I got older and math involved letters, the “math party” was over for me.
I’ve learned, however, that math is important to God. And His favorite mathematical functions are subtraction and multiplication. Hear me out:
See, when we come to Him for salvation, we have nothing good to offer Him–the Bible says that our “best” is like filthy rags (post-football practice laundry or worse). We have nothing but our sinful hearts to offer Him. But when we ask for His forgiveness, He subtracts our sins from our account. They aren’t counted against us EVER AGAIN. That’s the kind of subtraction we need, isn’t it? Our kids need it too. He wipes their slate clean–as if they never sinned. That’s hard for me to do as a mom. Just today, I was telling my daughter’s teacher that she’s been naughty at home lately. Lately. As in, not just today–over the last couple of weeks. Is it true? Yes. Am I giving her a clean slate? No. (Technically speaking, she hasn’t asked for our forgiveness yet, but holding last week’s offenses against her isn’t Christlike of me as her mom. Just keepin’ it real, folks.) Anyway. Back to that sin-subtraction. It’s amazing, isn’t it? It means that when I get on my knees and ask Him to forgive me for my faults and failures, they’re gone. We don’t have to live in regret–He subtracts them!
But multiplication is the other common theme throughout the Scriptures. Think about it: everything we give to God multiplies. Like the widow who took the last of her ingredients to bake some bread for Elijah, the man of God; her heavenly Father was watching and multiplying–she and her son never ran out of ingredients. Or, in the New Testament: the little boy with a lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus blessed that lunch and there were TWELVE BASKETS of leftovers after thousands were fed!
Sometimes, the math doesn’t add up for us as moms. I know all about it; I’m living it too. It’s difficult to carve out quiet time in the craziness of the day to spend time with Him. But He’ll take whatever you give Him and multiply it. See, He doesn’t just dwell in the quiet time moments; He’s there, willing to speak to your heart all. day. long. He isn’t bound by your 15-minute time frame while the baby takes a nap. When we recognize His voice, we realize He’s using every minute of our day to speak to us. That’s what it means to “dwell in the secret place of the Most High.” (Psalm 91:1)
He multiplies other things too. He takes our tithes and offerings–the sacrifices we make financially–and stretches our budgets. We’ve seen it over and over in our family. It may not always be the proverbial “check in the mail.” Sometimes it’s a side job or the offer of overtime. But He always provides. Every single time. We’ve never run out, not one time.
And the math almost never works out on paper. Because just like there’s no earthly way that a little boy’s lunch leaves behind that amount of leftovers–there’s no earthly way that giving to God leaves us better off than we were before. Time OR money. He doesn’t work that way; He works supernaturally. And all I can tell you is that He subtracts and multiplies in our favor every time.
Looking for more encouragement? Go here to read Not Quite SuperMoms of the Bible.