Wow, I wonder why I need to keep learning the same lessons over and over and over again when it comes to things spiritual? How quickly I forget what I all ready know. In this case it is God's ability to provide even in the smallest and most unnecessary ways just to remind me that he is faithful and loving to even me...and that I need to be a faithful and loving friend to others.
This Christmas I wanted to send a lovely scarf to a friend, one that would be a nice colour and an easily washed fabric like cotton to accommodate some special health needs of hers. I have just such a scarf in my possession all ready. It would be perfect for her. I took it off my scarf rack, washed it several times in hot water to remove any new dye or chemical smells and headed off for the gift boxes in my closet. As I went to put it into the box I suddenly had a temptation, a STRONG temptation, to just keep it for myself. I, who own more dress scarves than should even be legal for one woman to own, was having a struggle to release ONE new, never worn, scarf to a friend who will likely very much enjoy it.
Why on earth would such a thought even occur to me?? One of my husband's favourite stories about himself is one I posted a few months ago about his own struggle to give up a warm winter scarf, didn't do it and regretted it later, while I happily gave away the only scarf I owned at the time to someone who needed it more than I did, only to have 2 scarves arrive a week later, unexpected Christmas presents from friends.
I love giving gifts more than almost anything else. Giving things to friends brings me giant joy! Yet here I was struggling to part with a cotton scarf!! A SCARF! Again with the scarf gifting!
So I decided that it must just be an indication that giving it away is exactly the right thing to do, packed it up last Friday afternoon and today am mailing it away to a place far from here. I love this friend with all my heart and she deserves something beautiful.
AND do you know what happened on Saturday evening? Can you guess? I will give you 3 guesses and first 2 don't count!
Yup, on Saturday evening I received a Christmas present from our church pianist. Can you guess what was in the package? Can you? I'll bet you can!
It was not only a lovely scarf in a beautiful colour, it was 5 (yes FIVE) lovely scarves in 5 beautiful colours!! They are all hand made by our pianist and are absolutely gorgeous.
Lesson learned all over again: I cannot out give God and I can't get away with disobedience on the giving front.
I cannot refuse to give what he puts in my heart to give to other people. I learned my own favourite lesson all over again. God knows that embarrassment will ingrain in me a lesson far more quickly than any other method of teaching. For being grudging about giving away one measly scarf he replaced it with five scarves to ensure my embarrassment will help the lesson to stick this time.
No, God was not rewarding my obedience to give. He was giving me a bit of a chastisement for being so tempted to be selfish and chintzy toward a most valued and faithful friend. I have hung all 5 of my new scarves together on a special hangar in my room. This constant "visual" of all my riches will be a daily reminder of how quickly a temptation can rear its ugly head and how I must never again attempt to grasp on to something the Lord is asking me to part with for the sake of someone else.
How embarrassing to have to learn that lesson all over again.......at my age! I am well and truly chastised.........but also amazingly blessed with material riches and with blessed good friends.