Hope and Blessing – Giving and Receiving
(This is a post about hope that I wrote two years ago on Starting Over … Again, back in November 2014 – right after I had lost my job. I found it today, and felt it might help others – so I’ve posted it here.)
Sitting here in front of the fire, with the dogs stretched out on the rug nearby, and the cats hovering close to the warmth … it’s a slow Saturday afternoon around here. It’s been cold lately …colder than normal for this time of year. Last night’s low was about 25 degrees, and it’s now barely above freezing.
Youngest daughter and I just got back from volunteering at Mission of Hope, the food distribution ministry that our church has twice each month. This was the first time that we volunteered there, so everything was new to us. But it was a wonderful morning, and both of us came back anxious to volunteer again in two weeks.
We helped out with serving hot soup and cookies to the individuals and families that showed up this morning in the cold. Distribution of the food started about 10 a.m. and went until noon. but the church was open by 9 a.m. for folks to start showing up and getting in out of the cold. We tried to make sure that everyone had something warm in their stomachs before they left with their food boxes.
By noon we were getting low on soup, and most of the folks had come and gone – taking a large box of pantry items with them, along with bags of apples, pears, onions, and tomatoes. Large squash were added to the pile as well, and a bag of frozen items like chicken strips, vegetables and soup pouches … and a large bag of tortilla chips for each family.
Then it was time for clean up, and organizing for the next food distribution in two weeks. As we put away carts and boxes of produce and frozen food, we were told there were some items that needed to be used up very soon. So we were invited to make use of some of the food that was left over.
Before long someone was pushing a cart to my car – filled with fresh produce, frozen chicken strips and beef strips, pouches of frozen soup, bags of frozen veggies, and a large box of canned items. And I was reminded of the fact that when you answer God’s call to give of your time and energy to help others … God makes sure that you are blessed as well.
And that food from Mission of Hope is a definite blessing to us.
It’s been about 5 weeks since I lost my job, and the money is getting a little tight. Not to the point of “we don’t have money to pay our bills,” but to the point of “we have money to pay our bills, but groceries are a bit of a question mark right now.” We still had stuff in our cupboards, but I was having to be careful about trips to the grocery store. As I loaded the food into my car, I had tears in my eyes. God is so good, and so faithful.
Now our freezer is full, our pantry is full … and my heart is full; full of gratitude to God, who never lets us out of the palm of His hand. Youngest daughter had asked me earlier this morning if WE would be the ones who needed to come to Mission of Hope to get food soon. She is natural born worrier, much like her mom. (You can read more about my thoughts on worry here: Worry Is Useless ) I told her that I didn’t think it would come to that. But even though you tell that to your kids, there is still that nagging “what if” that hangs out in the back of your mind.
What I know for sure is this – “If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD–and he will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17, New Living Translation)
And here is another one of my favorite verses, one that inspires me very much:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38
Do you have an example of when you have given to someone, and it has come back to bless you? Please share in the comments below! 🙂