Months ago I saw a Facebook post from a woman I see once a year. She’d lost something dear to her. Immediately I know…I can help her. I have the means to replace it.
As the weeks pass and our meeting time nears, I am aware that I need to arrange this help. I tell a friend. I feel the Spirit nudging. Still, fear and selfishness keep me from acting. (Story of my life!)
I arrive empty handed. I feel I’ve missed my window to deliver her gift. And I hate it. It’s such a small step of faith; I wonder why I didn’t act. I ask God to work in my unbelief.
My time with her draws to a close. I am packing to leave and hear one last time…help her. I don’t have access to the actual item, but I do have a way to provide the funds for purchasing it.
You’re right, Lord. If I see her again – although chances are slim – I will do what you’ve asked me to do. It’s such a simple ask, and I love this sweet woman. It is a no brainer. I am sorry for my tight fists, holding on to what is really yours.
I walk out the door, and there she stands near the vehicle I am to leave in. Chance? No way. I do what God has asked – and what my heart desires.
The gift is met with disbelief and extreme gratitude. I want her to know He sees her. A simple reminder of His love- and mine.
I leave. The moment does not cross my mind again.
Until last night.
Hannah texts me. Someone we know has handed her a card containing a gift. The exact amount I’d given. An amount only Jesus and I knew. Wow. Lord, we hear you.
I often live with tight fists, holding on to all I have. As an American, statistics tell me I live wealthier than 90% of the world. But, most days it does not feel that way. I feel like I am constantly budgeting and rebudgeting and trying to pay for this or that sudden expense. I hate it.
So, fear. Fear of not having enough or being enough creeps in. If I trust God and give as he tells me – of my time or of my money – what if I don’t have enough for the kids? this trip? or Christmas?
It’s ridiculous thinking, isn’t it? Someone has a need, and I hold on to my little bit of excess so I can buy more excess, experience more excess.
So, I wonder…God, why did you give it back to me? You know I only considered saving it because I wanted to buy Owen a birthday gift or buy Christmas presents or spend it on an upcoming trip. Why return it?
And I heard clearly in my Spirit …because I care about chocolate chip cookies.
I’d recently heard the story of the cookies from a sweet gal. She and her husband had very little and wanted chocolate chip cookies, which they could not afford. They told no one about the cookies. They didn’t pray for the cookies. But, when they opened the door the next morning, there was a gift card for a grocery store with the note: God cares about chocolate chip cookies.
Sisters…he cares. When we trust him with our all – our money, our cookies, our hearts’ desires, our time – his story is greater. And better yet, we please Him, the one we love so very much. The one who died for us.
No, we don’t give to get. We give because we love Him and others.
No, He doesn’t promise to give you cookies or a car just because He knows you want it.
No, this is not some name it and claim it theology with misplaced, self-serving motives for more.
What is this? A sweet reminder from God that I am to live a surrendered life. That He will take care of me – of us. That I need to live open-handed, trusting in Him for my every need and want, knowing He can and will provide that which lines up with His plan and purpose.
And for today…His purpose was and is to use a gift as a way of honoring the hard decisions of my 15-year-old girl and the her momma’s release of control. (And perhaps something even greater that Hannah and I can’t see right now.)
We thank you, Lord, for these gifts. And for the reminder that you are faithful. Every good and perfect gift is from above.