The man opened the mail and couldn’t believe what he saw. A jury summons, for the week before Christmas, one of the worst off all times to be called to service. With so much to do before the holidays, he couldn’t believe he would have to spend every day, possibly in a courtroom. He was a person who believed everything that happened to him had a purpose, so as he went to the courthouse each day, he asked God what in the world he had planned for him. Why did he need to be there this particular week? Could there possibly be any good reason?
Each day, nothing particularly special happened and by the end of the week, he was a little discouraged thinking somehow he had missed what God was calling him to do. The last day, he was chatting with a bailiff when he learned of a family who was in desperate need of financial help. Both the husband and wife had been diagnosed with cancer, so their medical bills were especially high. Neither one had been able to work for some time. Earlier that week on the way home from cashing a disability check at the bank, the woman had been robbed, her purse stolen. They would have nothing for Christmas. The man left the courtroom thinking this must be it, somehow he was supposed to help this family, but he was not sure what to do next.
Several years before a group of men had started an event called “The Blessing,” They would all contribute money and go out into the community looking for broken and hurting people to bless. Each one would come with the amount of money God had laid on their heart to contribute and the person or family they felt led to give to. That year, this man was asked to join them and he knew just who to bless. The only problem was, he didn’t know how to find them.
When the men met, they began with the people they knew how to get to first, so the time quickly passed. Before they realized it, it was almost midnight and they had not found the family the bailiff had mentioned. They debated if it was too late to keep looking and decided they couldn’t give up. Even though it was after 11pm, the man was able to get in touch with the bailiff he had spoken to earlier in the week and obtain the last name of the family. With a little detective work, they got their phone number and called. When the woman answered, the man only mentioned he was trying to find her house and asked could she give him directions. Unbelievably she did, and they made their way to a trailer park a few miles away.
It was a bit of a scary sight I bet, five large men she didn’t know, dressed in black trench coats, filing out of a van at almost midnight. But the woman didn’t seem phased at all. She invited them all into her home. As they explained who they were and why they were there, they asked why she was up so late, and why had she so readily given out her information and invited them into her house. Her response was this: “Every time I get my back against the wall, I pray and God sends his angels to help me. You see; I was expecting you.” Who do you think was blessed the most?
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. (John 1:16)
I wonder how many times I’ve missed a blessing because I didn’t listen closely enough to the promptings of God? Or how many times I’ve given up, thinking I must have misunderstood or decided not to carry on because it was just too hard, or too crazy? Do I have enough faith to know that God will always provide if I will let him?
This holiday season, let’s not miss the blessing God has for us, whether it is through giving or receiving.