It was the holidays and I was grocery shopping. In front of me was a freezer filled with turkeys and I couldn’t make up my mind on which one to take home.
“Ma’am,” came the voice behind me.
“What,” I questioned as I turned around to face a young man with his hand extended towards me. In the palm of his hand was a folded bill. My brain fast forwarded and I thought he must have picked it up off of the floor behind me. I was just about to tell him that it wasn’t mine when he said, ” This is for you.” I paused and looked at his youthful face. I had never seen him before but the light shining from his eyes told me that he was blessing me with this gift. I accepted the folded bill and gave him a big hug and told him “Thank you.”
“Merry Christmas,” he said and walked away.
I never saw him again. I went on with my shopping and it was several minutes before I unfolded the bill. It was a hundred dollar bill, enough to pay for our holiday dinner. Not only was I blessed that day, but my whole family was; and yes the giver, himself: Proverbs 11:24, “One man gives freely: yet gains even more” I had to learn to receive as well as to give. When giving, you are following God’s plan. When receiving, you have been given a gift from him.
Once, my soul sister gave my husband and I some money saying God had reminded her of the things we had done for her. But wait a moment; we did those things to help her out because we loved her. I felt we had not earned it and didn’t know what we were suppose to do with it. It was then that I learned that you don’t have to earn, but you only have to receive. God blesses you because he wants too.
Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings and see what God has done. (from the hymn that we grew up with) Try it. I look back over the years and I can’t count them all. There was the time I was riding my bike and changed directions and the car behind me went into the ditch to avoid hitting me. The time I jumped out of a moving car, flipping me into the air and I landed flat on my back. The time I had whooping cough, chicken pox, and diphtheria at the same time, getting over it only to settle in my ears and head, spending 7 days in the hospital, getting a shot every 3 hours. Blessings for my family, through their illnesses, my husband when he was diagnosed with Melanoma stage 4 and how he survived. Blessings for the struggles, the joys and the rewards throughout the years. I don’t know about you, but I can’t name them all.
Look back and see the gifts you received from God. Maybe it was just a smile that brightened your day. Some of you have suffered more hardships than I can imagine, some of you have received one success after another. No matter what your circumstances, a blessing from God is a gift of his love for you. Keep your eye on Him.
Look back also on the times you blessed others and how refreshed you felt. Sometimes, the voice inside you told you to do something and you thought it was silly or that the other person would think you were crazy. I just know that if you hesitate to answer the voice you will always wonder. I’ve learned to obey. It may be just a small thing, but that doesn’t matter. It’s what that person needs at that moment. Searching through some of those times, one of the most precious ones that I remember is the time it was so cold out and my husband and I had stopped to eat breakfast at McDonalds. While we were there, a homeless woman with long shaggy hair, wearing a knit hat, long overcoat, gloves with some fingers hanging out, sat down at a table with her back toward us. She got some hot water in a tin cup and pulled out some crackers from one of her bags. I went to the counter and paid for a sausage biscuit and hot coffee and asked the clerk to give it to the lady and not to say where it came from. Well, when asked, the clerk told her where it came from and pointed in our the direction. It will forever be burned in my memory the picture of the lady in shabby clothing that turned to me and had the face of an angelic host with the sweetest smile. (That blessing I will have the rest of my life. I hope to paint it one day.)
Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.