Leviticus 23:22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”
You shall not reap right up to its edge. In other words, there should be margin. It’s the first rule of graphic design – leave margin; it’s the first rule of first grade – don’t write in the margin; it’s in God’s Levitical law – leave margin.
After a week of snow and ice keeping us all within our own neighborhood for several days, the idea of margin in our schedules emerged again. In my household of 4, we already have to defend the margin in our weekly rhythm to be home. You feel it when the rest is forced, the awareness of what once was a full week and how quickly it is an empty calendar. Rest.
Of course, the Lord wasn’t specifically talking about time when He gave this command. It was so practical, don’t be so greedy as to go back over the harvest again and again, instead leave what falls – allow it to bless others. Be intentional. It’s this same gleaning that allows Ruth and Naomi to fill their stomachs in their widowed state. The Lord’s command served the purpose of caring for His people.
The practical implication here is huge. I am no financial advisor, but I read here some amazing financial wisdom from the Word. Work to create margin. Leave room as you can for the poor and the sojourner among you. Just imagine the freedom to know you can bless others when they cross by your crop.
I speak for myself when I say every area of my life could be evaluated and the question asked: “Is there margin here for those in need?” Do I have enough time to share love and the Gospel with those the Lord brings? Have I disciplined my spending so that when the chance comes for generosity I can act?
I could give a list here of all the ways you could give, but I love the idea that the purpose of the margin in our lives is for the Lord to allow us to be a part of the blessings that He provides others. I’m praying for all of our eyes to be opened so that we don’t miss those he brings to us.
I hope this passage challenges and encourages you the way it has me.