“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17
“And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”” Acts 20:35
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”” Luke 6:38
My beloved friends know me well. When they send me one of their wonderfully love-packed precious care packages wherever I’m currently staying out on the road full-time for the Lord and ministry, they know good and well there’s no telling where the goodies and blessings they’ve lovingly tenderly laid in the box are going to end up.
I can’t help myself. Not only do I need and want less stuff than ever to hold onto as I’m so often on the move, and do best with the minimum amount of clutter and distraction, but the Lord so very often has a plan for what’s given to me – a plan that doesn’t include me. How so? Here’s a sweet and beautiful example.
Tucked inside one of my well-loved care packages was a little envelope with little charms inside. Hearts and angels with the word “believe” on the angels. Five hearts. I guessed perhaps they were for the collars on my 5 special needs doggies. Or not. Angels? Surely God has angels I can’t see tending to me. But little angels to fashion into a necklace? Or bracelet? Or –
Now wait. What’s that, Lord? I was walking one day in the hotel parking lot when the Lord clearly told me to give ALL the charms to one particular person. Not one heart. Not one angel. Not a few. All of them. To someone I loved but hardly knew. Did she wear jewelry? Never noticed. Would she want them? No clue. Would she even accept them? God knew. Maybe I wasn’t hearing God clearly? I was.
Almost as soon as I opened my hand and dropped the charms into the beautiful young woman’s hand, the Lord showed me His reason. Turns out the woman’s young daughter loved making jewelry and used charms to do so. Now she would have hearts and angels. And I had the opportunity to tell the young woman I was so sorry for the challenges she’d faced in life, how vitally important it was that she surrender her life wholly to the Lord, and that she through Christ could have a fresh start.
Then off I went. Mission accomplished. The Lord in His love had used my friends to deliver His message of love to me. Now had used me to do the same with someone else. How easily I could have held onto those hearts and angels. Or given them to someone else. But He had a plan all along. They were His hearts and angels anyway. Just like I am His. His vessel.
Speaking of which, every good thing in our lives is from Jesus. And, my friend, our lives are not to be about us. But to be about God and others. We are to be God’s children through faith in Jesus and our lives fully devoted to Him, and to be His servants – and His vessels. Vessels of His love. Of hearts and angels, yes. Of everything lovely, precious, beautiful, wonderful, blessed He places in our hearts, lives, and hands. Vessels to take the love and blessings He pours into us and to pass them along to others.
Hold on for dear life to the Lord, but don’t hold on for dear life to the blessings He places in your life. Be a vessel of Him. Be a vessel of the Gospel message. Of His love. Of His provision. Of His mercy and compassion and care and kindness. Of all His spiritual and physical blessings and gifts. Don’t hoard them to yourself, my friend. Pass them along.
That little girl who would receive the hearts and angels would receive a gift from God. And only the Lord knew when she would make a bracelet with those hearts and angels to whom He might lead her to pass along that LOVE BRACELET.
We don’t need charms, or hearts and angels, nor bracelets, to pass along Christ’s love. We need Him. We need Jesus. And we need to be wide open to Him pouring Himself and His blessings into and through us that those who receive what He desires see His love and continue to pass along the love of the Lord Jesus Christ to others – and others – and still others!