Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Gift in Giving

I admit it. I spent most my evening last night watching mind numbing television. I watched two episodes of "Hoarders: Buried Alive" followed by two episodes of "Extreme Couponing". The interesting thing about watching these back to back was seeing the similarities in the people featured. It was like looking at the two faces of a manic-depressive. The hoarders, depressed and overwhelmed by the chaos surrounding them. Friends and family pulling away. The couponing extremists, on an adrenaline high, endless energy, surrounded by tiny warehouses of food and supplies in their homes, all neatly stacked with the labels facing forward. Surrounded by admiring crowds, friends and family. Do you see what they have in common. The comfort they are both finding in having an overabundance of "things" to feel safe? What they need help with is learning how to give. Giving to others can be one of the most satisfying things you do. Even if you can barely make ends meet, I promise that if you are reading this, that there are people far worse off than you out there. I am not talking about giving through volunteer work....although that is wonderful, and maybe a good topic for another day ;) I am talking about giving money, when money is tight. Food to a food pantry, when your own pantry is running low. A spare car to someone without transportation. You see, God has commanded us to take care of those in need, and in return we learn to trust in Him for all of our needs. It really is a wonderful gift. My husband tells a story that illustrates this beautifully. His father was laid off for an extended period of time when my husband was young. He remembers every week, his father sitting down at his desk to pay the bills, to decide which bill would get paid and which would have to wait. And every week, without fail, the first check he wrote was his tithe. The other bills may have to wait, the giving came first. Amazingly, God always provided. So, this week, I challenge you to give. Whether it is to your church, or another charity. Whether it is with money or just cleaning out your closet and taking it to Goodwill. I promise you too will receive a gift in this. 
God Bless ~Marla 

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