Hello Dear Friends,
I pray this article encourages you this season of Thanksgiving.
“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16 (NASB)
Enough. That’s what I have. Really, more than enough.
More than enough clothes in my closet. Food in my fridge. Shoes spread on the floor. Cans in the cupboard.
My children have books, warm jackets, tennis shoes, pencils, and opportunities for more. I have clean sheets, soft pillows, a kitchen table, and indoor plumbing.
My husband and I have never taken our provisions for granted. Every day we are thankful for the blessings of our home and family. Yet eight years ago we were increasingly aware of what Luke 12:48b tells us, “When someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” (NLT) We felt an obligation to do something more with our blessings.
So in 2005 our family of five put a plan in place to share what we had. We had enough home, enough time, and enough love. Our gratitude to God for His blessings couldn’t be kept to ourselves any more. We started with some rearranging. Two of our three sons moved furniture around so they could share a room, Then we bought two little white beds, pink curtains, and some dolls. I bought matching calico comforters and guessed at sizes of dresses.
After months of planning to share what we had, two little orphaned sisters stepped off a plane gripping the hands of their new daddy and walked into our hearts and homes.
They wore “African suits” bought from the place of their birth, brightly colored dresses that hung on tiny bodies. So proud they were to own their first new pieces of clothing, wanting to greet their new family in their best. As we wrapped our arms around these little girls, our family of five became seven.
As weeks turned into months, and typical family issues mingled with trauma from our daughters’ pasts, we learned God’s call to share isn’t always easy. Oh, at first it was great, before the first blush of excitement wore off. But the magnitude of sharing our lives with two wounded little girls was harder than we ever imagined.
When worry about the future threatened to overwhelm me, God quietly reminded me that He didn’t ask me to have the answers. That’s His job. My job is just to share what He has given me–my love, my home, my life–with two not-so-little girls now who call me Mama. With a heart of thankfulness, and an open hand of generosity. That’s all He’s asking me. That’s what blesses Him.
God’s Word confirms what pleases Him. Hebrews 13:15-16 teaches us that we must link thanksgiving with sharing. But it also says it will be a sacrifice: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (NASB)
As we walk together as a family, we continue to learn that showing thanks to God involves sharing, and sharing involves sacrifice. God still calls us to share out of our abundance, and it still involves sacrifice. But when we share our lives, our homes, our money, our hearts, our skills, and our time as an outpouring of thanksgiving, God is pleased.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your generosity with me. I don’t deserve Your favor, and my heart overflows with thanksgiving. Help me to show my gratitude through words and actions that are pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Do you struggle with sharing what you have? Consider if God is calling you to a deeper trust in Him as your provider.
We too have adopted and I would encourage each of you to pray through all you have been given. Maybe adoption isn’t for you…no worries!!! But encouraging and helping families who do adopt is a blessing beyond words. We as God’s children who are not Jewish by heritage have also been lovingly adopted into God’s family. We are chosen just like these little girls Glynnis and her family adopted into their family. What a blessing!! For these little girls this has forever changed and blessed their lives!! For the Whitwer family this has forever changed and blessed their lives!! 🙂
So I LOVE this sweet woman’s application of thanks-sharing. We also experience this joy in our family. And now, we are a bit later in years and adoption seems for the younger folks…but we can also share our in good condition items not being used, encourage, give our money, donate our time, pray, etc.
Now…this article is also about giving and sharing too. We in our family have been de-cluttering with the bulk of the work still to be done. We do have enough!! The Lord has clearly been showing me this for some time, but even more in the last month. It is fun in the moment to shop and as I call…”be in acquisitions”. Then the bills must be paid…all too often we have more month than money. With that realization here recently…we are done. I am amazed how easily we get in this trap. We then take a good look around and wonder…where did all this stuff come from. All it takes is a quick look at our finances and we know.
How can you practically apply in your life the over abundance the Lord has blessed you with? I think of the widow’s mite Mark 12:41-44…am I giving with that much love for the Lord? I am humbled and have much to work on. Praise the Lord He is patient and kind to teach me such wonderful lessons.
Keep serving Him well, Dear Friends,
Devotional credit: Proverbs31.org