Just before Christmas, my dad sent my daughter and I a box of tea–not a single box of one flavor, but a packing box filled to the brim with about 15 boxes of our favorite flavors of Bigelow tea, and a few others besides. Vanilla caramel, chocolate chai, lemon lift, pumpkin spice, earl grey, raspberry royale…we pulled out box after box, exclaiming in delight as we ooo’ed and aahh’ed in anticipation of many morning and evening cups of tea, steaming hot and laced with half ‘n half.
My dad is a great gift giver, not only because of his generosity but because of his thoughtful care in choosing just the right gift to meet a certain want or need. Sometimes his gifts spoil us with their extravagance, like the Kindle Fire he got me this year for Christmas. Sometimes his gifts touch us because of the thoughtful observation involved, like the headlamp he gave me to light the way on my midnight ventures to our outdoor woodburner.
Sadly, our stash of tea is more than half gone, and I’ll have to start restocking our favorites in a few weeks. But what a pleasure it was to enjoy a gift so carefully chosen and generously given! And it proved to be an excellent inspiration to do the same for others: to surprise my health-conscious husband with a rare batch of his favorite chocolate chip cookies, and give a little extra to a missionary this month, for example.
Just simple gifts. But throughout Scripture, we are called to give, cheerfully and generously.
Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. – Proverbs 3:27
The righteous giveth and spareth not. – Proverbs 21:26b
Giving takes our minds off ourselves and our own needs and lifts another up, and in return, we receive a blessing.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. – Acts 20:35
No matter the form of God’s blessing, he promises that our gift will return to us many times over. I love the imagery in this verse:
Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Have you experienced the joy of giving recently? Has someone blessed you with a simple gift? I’d love to hear from you.