When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 8:10

God created food to be received with thanksgiving. 1 Timothy 4:3

 Prices keep getting higher on everything, gas, food, housing, toothpaste, and things needed just to live. Food shelves are reporting that more folks who used to donate to the shelves are now using them, for the first time. Homeless shelters are taking in more and more families. And yet, we are still a nation of excess, and the food shelves are in dire need of help………

So what happened, why aren’t we giving more?

 A story I heard somewhere…..  A little barefoot boy was standing on the hot air register outside of a shoe store trying to keep warm. A lady came by and began to talk with him. She brought him into the store and bought him new shoes and a pair of heavy woolen socks. "Are you God's wife?" he asked. She answered, "No son, I'm just one of his children." to which he said "Well, I knew you must be related to him." He quickly thanked her and ran out the door. The grace of giving arises out of knowing that we are one of the children of God.  It arises out of knowing that not only are we the children of God, children for whom Christ died and rose again, but that all other people, are also children of God. And miracle upon miracle - when you give graciously, openly, freehandedly, you also receive. What goes around comes around.

Another story ……….about a woman who was having hard time.

She had many problems, she always anxious and worried about herself, her children, her husband, her house, and her world. She had gone to several places for help, to no avail. Finally, in desperation, she went to a minister and asked him to counsel her. He listened to her story, then told her that he would gladly help her out, but first, she would have to do something for him - would she be willing before they met again the following week - to act as a homemaker and companion to an old, lonely, and crippled lady in his congregation. All she would have to do is help her clean up a little, cook her supper, and visit with her during the next five days.

She was so desperate, she agreed. The next week she returned to the minister for her session and he asked her to tell him how things were in her life. She replied that she really didn't know why she was there – that Mrs. Smith needed her that afternoon, and besides, her problems really hadn't caused her any trouble all week.

The grace of giving...

The quality of mercy is not strain’d;

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless’d;

It blesses him that gives and him that takes;

Merchant of Venice, Wm. Shakespeare

Mercy is unselfish. It looks not to one’s own needs and desires, but to the needs of others. It sets one’s personal needs and desires aside in consideration for another. It is this quality of mercy that should likewise characterize our lives as servants of Jesus Christ, who gave himself that we might live in fellowship with God from now through eternity.

Almighty God, you have given me everything I need and much more besides, and still I tend to dwell on what I lack. In your mercy create in me a more thankful heart so that I may think more about the needs of others. Let me know how to help fill those needs. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

Peace, Susan Hanson