Saturday, September 18, 2010

Who can you find that has a need?

"But whoso hath this world's good,  and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" I John 3:17  I came across this verse in my Bible a few weeks ago and it has been stuck in my mind ever since.  This is one reason I have started this couponing thing when I shop- so that many of the free or cheap things I buy can be donated to someone who needs it.  For example, I was able to actually make $2 on SIX cans of Scrubbing Bubbles.  So far I've given one to a family we know who is struggling; donated two to our church pantry; and the other three we are thinking of splitting among family members. Kris and I plan to do this with food as well- since we just started this couponing plan we don't have much stockpiled yet, but soon we will, hopefully.

So for those of you out there who don't think you can do it, YOU CAN.  If you contact me, I'll help you do it.  Because I cannot stand people who refuse to help others, or make up excuses why they think they can't.  I could give you story after story of friends and family who I KNOW have little money, no job, etc. yet they have given to Granting Hope, they have given to our adoption, they have given when we lost our little boy.  One friend of mine from back home where I grew up donated $5.00-- yes I said FIVE DOLLARS- to Granting Hope not long ago.  She apologized that the amount was so little; I wrote her back and let her know that $5.00 made us so happy, and that $5.00 would purchase a basket for our ministry. That's one less basket we had to purchase ourselves. No amount is ever too small- no matter what the donation is for.  God can do BIG things using small things.  Anybody remember the story of the five loaves and two fishes feeding FIVE THOUSAND people? Wow, what an amazing story of faith!! God used a little boy and his small lunch to feed all those people.

I want to challenge you this next week: Who can you find that has a need? How can you show God's love with your giving?  I apologize for using myself for all the examples, but at this point that's what I know.  Kris and I have been thru the ringer financially-- THREE in vitro fertilization attempts,  specialists for both pregnancies,  jobs that pay Kris very little,  funeral expenses for our little boy, and all that goes in between.  Now we are dealing with adoption expenses, and honestly, I feel that I have nothing to give anyone.  But when a bereaved family in our church was holding a fundraiser, we felt God impressing on our hearts to support it-- so we did.  I don't say this to "pat myself on the back" by any means- but to show you the importance of helping and giving to one another. Bearing one another's burdens. That is what we are called to do.  I almost find it amusing when people say to me, "Good luck on the adoption" or "we'll be praying for you"; yet they do nothing to help us realize our dream of having a baby to hold in our arms; someone that could grow up with Jake; someone who could have a miracle of a story to use for God one day.  Most people are just so comfortable in their own lives- they can have as many babies as they want; they have no idea what it's like to suffer the pain and the grief that Kris and I have suffered.  And all they can do is say "Good luck on your adoption."

I challenge you again- who can you find that has a need?  Your church? Your child's school? A dear friend or family member who has lost their job? Someone who is bereaved?
You don't have to spend a fortune-- all it takes is a willing and loving heart--and a $1, or $5.00; maybe a little more couponing on your part; a sack of groceries...

I'll leave you with this story-

Two years ago, we walked through the most painful journey any human will ever face- the loss of a child.  That first Christmas, we were dreading everything about that holiday.  The images I had carried in my head of Jake holding his new baby brother on his lap for the Christmas cards would never be a reality.  We went to a memorial service at the funeral home a week or two before Christmas and were given an ornament for Grant for the Christmas tree. Kris and I held each other and sobbed when we got home. We didn't want an ornament- we wanted our child.  We were on the verge of losing our house, everything we had went to paying for the funeral and Grant's gravestone.  Things at Kris's work went from bad to worse- they found all kinds of ways to make it harder for any of the salesmen to make any money.  We weren't sure how we would be able to buy any Christmas gifts, etc.  That was a very depressing month.  Right before Christmas- maybe the Sunday before?- we drove home from church that night, and as we pulled into our driveway we saw a big sign on our garage that said "Santa stopped here".  At first we thought maybe our neighbors were pranking us but as Kris got out I saw his expression change and I knew that wasn't the case. I got out and walked around to where Kris was standing and this is what we saw on the porch:

In the striped boxes, there was food. Dozens and dozens of canned goods. Boxes, bottles and bags of more food. In the plastic bag you see there was a big turkey; and the fixins were all in the boxes. The rest of the items were gifts for Jake, and Christmas cards full of grocery gift cards, restaurant cards, and bath and body cards.  Through our tears, we carried it all inside, trying to figure out who dun it. 

And to this day, we STILL don't know "who dun it".  We like to think it was some of God's angels among us...
My point is, you will never be able to FATHOM the kind of blessing you can be to someone else.  Sometimes you might have an inkling; and sometimes, you will never know until you get to Heaven.  Kris and I were so moved that someone would love us enough and care enough about our pain to do all of this for us. 

How can you show your compassion to someone else? How can you show God's love? How can you bless someone today? Maybe just sending someone a card is all that is needed.  Whatever it is, whatever the need, whatever the burden; get in there and let yourself be used by God.


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