In church today, there was a lesson on giving and I was deeply moved by it. The scriptures the teacher referenced brought to mind several instances in my life when I have been the giver and the receiver of true Christian generosity.
One of those memories was from the morning my mother passed away. I don't recall the details exactly, but this is the way I remember it:
I got the call from one of my brothers around 4 a.m. and spent some time freaking out at my house, then, at some point, I contacted my best friend, told her the news, and left to go be with my brothers and father. She lived about 40 minutes away from my parents' home and I lived about 10, but somehow she arrived when I got there (or at least so it seemed). I will never forget the hug she gave me and how, immediately after the initial shock passed, she produced a warehouse-store sized box of yogurt-dipped granola bars. This act would not have been quite so important, except she and I were both pregnant and her intuition told her that we would need a treat and that was what she had on hand, so she brought it. I believe I thanked her right away and between everyone at the house, the entire box was inhaled in no time at all. Although the granola bars were a simple offering, they mean so much to me to this day. I can't see a box of them without recalling the thoughtful compassion my friend showed that tragic morning.
I have countless memories of people sharing their time, talents, and means with me in times of hardship or trial. The past few years have been peppered with sore trials, yet I can also say I am a blessed person because of friends and neighbors reaching out with generosity and love to be His hands in my life. The pure love of Christ has been manifested to me and I cannot deny its comfort and healing power.
Generosity is something that no one can be forced to feel or do. It must come from within. The apostle Paul outlines how to become more like Christ when we give:
2 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.
With Christmas approaching, giving cheerfully is almost contagious; opportunities to serve others and meet needs of the destitute abound. Although, what happens during the rest of the year? Do we only give out of necessity? Or do we seek out those whose lives might be in need of His loving arms and choose to serve them gladly?
Please join me, as we focus on becoming a cheerful giver, in working to cultivate a more generous and charitable heart in order to bless others abundantly throughout the year.