"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’" Acts 20:35
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin." Matthew 6:28
My heart is full this morning! Full of memories of being at places and times in my life when I wondered how things were going to work out; i.e., feeding my family, clothing my family, paying the next bill. I am thinking about thousands of people in our world right now that are wondering about the same things. I feel their heart and their weight they are carrying....why....because I have been there. I am also reminded of all the people that reached out and blessed me all throughout my life. The times when my parents wondered about the same things and then someone from our church would show up with a bag of clothes or a warm meal. My dad has been a minister for over 40 years and if you know anything about ministry....well, the salary is not the greatest. So, growing up I would have sweet women within our church bring huge bags of clothes to my mother and say, "hey, my daughter has grown out of these, if your daughter can use them then please take them." What a blessing!! As I have grown older and now have four children of my own I am still seeing that blessing today! There are angels that have shown up on my doorstep with clothes for my kiddos!!
A few years ago Britt and I lost our full time job as youth pastors. The pain was so great and then as time went on the pain shifted to worry.....our thoughts were, "how are we going to take care of our family??" During this time we became pregnant with our fourth child. I got so tired of people giving me weird looks and asking me, "don't you know how that happens??" Really?? Not a great time to ask a mother that question! Yes, I know how it happens and I also know how to prevent it, but God had other plans!! We were completely dumb founded when we realized I was pregnant. We had done everything we could to prevent another pregnancy. But when God has a plan, He has a plan and His ways are better than ours! So, once we got past the shock of our fourth pregnancy we felt so blessed. We knew this child was going to bring much joy into our lives, hence her name....Bethany Joy! When we lost our job we thought we would be without one for maybe a couple of weeks or even months. Well, those few weeks and months turned into a complete full year! There were days filled with worry, tears, anger, etc. but there were also days full of laughter, joy, and happiness. Some of that laughter, joy, and happiness came from people simply reaching out and showing random acts of kindness to us. I remember my sweet friends showing up on my doorstep with tons of food and energy! What do I mean by "energy,"....well, they cleaned my entire house! These same people (along with others) blessed us with money to buy our children Christmas that year and also a minivan.....yes, I said a minivan! There were also people that tithed from their income tax refund and sent it our way! There were others that would call and say, "I am thinking of you! I am praying for you! I love you!"...which touched my heart just as much! There were others who gave us clothes or food. You see, they didn't have to do any of this! But they chose to bring a ray of sunshine to someone who felt they were in their darkest valley. Those acts of kindness and those sweet people will never be forgotten!
Why am I sharing all of this....I don't really know! I know God is making me do a major self-check right now in many areas of my life. Today he has laid on my heart all those in need, because I have been there. I am so thankful to God and to all of those who have ever given to me or my family....and I am not just talking about financially. I pray that I can always remember how it felt for someone to show me a random act of kindness. I pray that I can be, and also teach my children to be, the person that brings random acts of kindness to someone else. Please, please, don't ever underestimate the power of giving! You may not have money to give but you can always give a smile, a kind word, a touch, etc. Just my thoughts today! Happy Giving!:)