“It’s More Blessed to Give then to Receive.” Act 20:35
Last week our nation celebrated Giving Tuesday, a day set aside specifically for the opportunity to donate money to one’s favorite non-profit organization. I am thankful to live in a nation that sets aside a specific day to give financially with a vision to impact lives for the better. The season of giving is upon us as we countdown to Christmas. I want to encourage you to consider ways to give, not only financially, but ways to give of your time and talents. Small acts of kindness can make a tremendous difference in the lives of those around us. To love others the way God has loved us is a way to honor His name.
Our family begins each Christmas season by packing Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. Year after year this small act of kindness built in our own daughters a heart to give to those less fortunate. This year it was extra special as our oldest granddaughter Raegan, almost 3, was able to help. What joy to know that the heart of giving is being passed on from our own daughter to the next generation. This time of year always sparks new ways to be a blessing by giving of our time and talents to serve or help others. As we went for our annual Thanksgiving Day run, I passed a neighbor who was out walking alone. I sensed her heart of loneliness as her husband is unwell and requires constant supervision and care. I felt led to come home and prepare a small gift of our homemade sweet rolls for her. She was so surprised as she opened her front door to find me with a plate of homemade sweet rolls and a word of encouragement for her. She expressed her thanks and told me she felt so loved. This small act of kindness was God’s idea. All I did was act on the prompting He placed on my heart and as a result my children and grandchildren were able to see an example of faith in action.
Just a few days ago I braved Walmart to pick up a loaf of freshly made French bread for a little widow I care for. Every checkout line was packed. As I moved from one line to another, hoping to find a quick isle to check out, I realized that I was not going anywhere anytime soon. As I surrendered to the delay, I asked God to use me to demonstrate His love to someone while I waited. Within a few minutes I was able to open a conversation with the woman in front of me. Pam was recently diagnosed with an auto immune disease and began to pour out her heart about her battle with discouragement and fear. I quickly told her the only hope I could share with her was my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I asked her if she knew Jesus and she replied “Yes.” I took the next 15 minutes reminding her of His love for her, His faithfulness to never leave her and the promises we have in Him of daily comfort and peace. I finished by sharing Luke 1:37, “Nothing is impossible with God.” As I finished, Pam boldly asked for my phone number and if she could call me when she needed prayer or encouragement. Yes I said, recognizing that God had answered my prayer and put this woman just ahead of me in line. He used me to remind her about His love and care for her through this difficult journey battling serious health issues.
As a family, we pray each year for vision and strength to be God’s hands and feet to those around us. We purpose as we approach Christmas to ask God to show us those who may be in need or those who need His touch of love because they are hurting. We make giving the center of our Christmas celebration.
I want to encourage each of you to do the same. May the Christmas spirit of giving and caring continue through each of us into the new year. May giving be a way of our heart. May we be intentional as we give and represent Jesus’ love as we ask Him for opportunities to bless others.