Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Every good gift is a gift from above

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Matthew 24, 25; Psalms 128, 129

Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)

35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you?’ 40 The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Hebrews 13:15-16 (NIV)

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Good morning!

Last night as I was working at the computer, a storm blew through St. Charles. Suddenly, and without warning, I lost satellite connectivity and my computer crashed. Reluctantly, I retired to the bedroom, crawled into bed, but could not go to sleep. I had unfinished business to attend to, but it would have to wait. Do you ever feel like you need to finish what you’ve begun? Sometimes we lose our light, and find ourselves stuck in a dark space. After laying in bed for twenty minutes, I got up and went back to the computer. I was able to log in for just a few minutes, but those minutes were precious and valuable. God was still speaking and I needed to pay closer attention to Him.

Sometimes, in the storms of life, we lose our connectivity with God. The problems we face can become overwhelming and we lose our grip and focus on what we are called to do. Thank God for the body of Christ! These people give me a tiny glimpse of what heaven will one day be like. They go about their business, looking for ways to bring the Word of hope to others. Their kindnesses do not go unnoticed or unappreciated, especially in times of great need.

When two of our children became ill this summer, the body of Christ was there. There were moments when I wasn’t sure I could even think clearly, much less find the time to take care of everything that needed immediate attention. Our Faith family and Christians from all over the United States found ways to help us. I’m forever grateful for the outpouring of prayers, time and talents of those who have helped us walk through a very dark valley. When we didn’t have time to prepare meals or shop at the store, our Faith family brought food and snacks and games in for our grandchildren each day. They came and stayed in our home while we were at the hospital, spending time with our wee ones and entertaining them. Someone did our laundry. I have no idea who made time to wash our clothes. We were never alone at the hospital. Our Faith family was there to hold our hands, listen and pray with us. Cards, letters, monetary gifts, gift cards, handwritten notes and letters to our children continue to pour in each day. Flowers, candy, love notes, words of caring and hope – every kind act is such a precious treasure to us. Have you ever been the recipient of a gift so wonderful you could not possibly repay it?

I confess that sometimes God has to leave me in the dark for awhile so that I can see a little more clearly. In every storm, there is a lesson to be learned. Sometimes that lesson comes through allowing yourself to be loved on, to be the grateful recipients of an undeserved gift.

One of my favorite internet stories is about the man who is looking into two rooms, trying to discern the difference between heaven and hell. In both rooms, a large banquet table is prepared with a feast fit for a king. Every delicacy imaginable is elegantly served on a table with white linens, fine silver, beautiful china, and crystal goblets. The guests at both tables are unable to feed themselves, due to some deformity in the length of their arms. They were not long enough to bring the food from the table to their mouths, even when using silverware. In one room, the guests are staring at the banquet feast set before them. Looking very pale and hungry, they seem to be starving to death. In the other room, the guests are laughing, and talking and enjoying their meal. Unable to feed themselves, they are simply feeding each other by spooning the food into their neighbor’s mouth.

Random acts of kindness may seem trivial. Our Father in heaven notices. The Lord Jesus Christ notices. You can offer water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, and a prayer for those in need today. God delights in the love and compassion we share with each other. Find a way today to be a blessing for someone you know, and if you find yourself the recipient of an undeserved gift, remember to thank God for the giver.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: help! When you find yourself in a dark space and feeling just a little bit disconnected and lost, do not be afraid to ask for a little help from above. God sends His angels everyday, and many of them are the people you know and love. Thanks be to God! He is the author and giver of every good gift.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.