"Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." Luke 6:38 (New Living Translation)
Gifts are the best, aren't they? During this time of year, it's easy to think about the Gift God sent to us in a itty-bitty baby. It's also easy about the gifts we both give and receive. Personally, I love to give gifts! I literally Christmas shop year around. If I'm out-and-about and see something I think someone would like (and it's a good deal), I go ahead and get it then and stow it in my Christmas drawer. It's my way of not only thinking about someone (even though they don't know it yet) and getting ahead for the ever-crazy busy December month. Can you believe it's already the 15th? How did that happen? Wasn't Thanksgiving last weekend?
Speaking of gifts, sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the real reason for the season. EE and I were talking while we worked out tonight how stores are pushing "Happy Holidays" on us to take Christ out of Chrsitmas. But do they not realize without a Christ there would not only be no Christmas to begin with, but you couldn't even spell that word. It would be pretty silly to go around saying, Merry Mas!!
Wait, I'm veering from my original point, which you don't actually know, since I haven't shared it yet. In context the above verse talks about how we shouldn't judge others. But I took it to mean something completely different. Perhaps it's just the way my mind processes things, but I envisioned a blender, full of all the gifts God's given to me: passionate creativity, seeking the unique view from photography, writing, adventures, finding joy in the little things, etc. All these and many more get blended to perfection and spilled out (hopefully not in my lap like the verse says) to everyone I meet! I leave my "God prints" everywhere.
God's always given me the ability to know when someone needs cheering up. I may not have a clue what's actually going on their life, but He'll give me divine wisdom to say all the right things. The funny thing is, I rarely remember sending cards like these. That's not to say that I under appreciate this blessing, I just honestly don't remember the event. One instance comes to mind, my long-time friend JW talks about how I wrote her this letter in high school that got her through a really rough patch in her life. I'm really glad He was able to touch her. I'm just the vessel. I'm the clay pot and He's the water. He flows through me and splashes his loving grace in ways we'll never know. In ways I'll never know. I'm so thankful He finds me worthy to use.
Isn't it true that when you give, it's as though you receive even more back? You just might receive unexpected joy, a smile, and that good feeling deep inside to start with. Always remember, you never know how He'll use the gifts He's given you for His Glory. Be on the lookout for opportunites to bless others. You just might get a "smoothie" spilled in your lap too!!