Challenge Ahead

I have the privilege of coordinating the collection of shoe boxes for Samaritan's Purse at my church.  This is a bittersweet thing for me.  On the one hand, seeing the congregation join together in the mission of providing children they have never met with toys, coloring books, and hygiene supplies that will open the door and allow those children to hear and experience the truth that Jesus loves them is amazing.  In five years the number of shoe boxes we collect has almost doubled.

But the flip side of this coin is the knowledge that there are children in this world that have never been shown this love, children who are devoid of hope, children that don't know or understand that what they experience in this world is not all there is, nor is it what it was supposed to be.  Each year as I go through videos and testimonials of how these simple shoe boxes impact children and communities my heart breaks and I hug my own children a little tighter.

As Stacie reminded us earlier this week, our calling doesn't have to be some "great" thing that everyone sees and recognizes as important.  Our great thing can be as simple as packing a shoebox for a child in another country, recognizing that our neighbor with the new baby is feeling overwhelmed and cook a meal for her family one night.  Maybe your calling is to notice the cashier that is scanning your items for your holiday meal isn't smiling and then really talking to him or her.  There are so many in this world that don't feel hope, especially at this time of the year.

I want to challenge you to make a conscious effort for the next month or so to really SEE the people around you.  Ask God to show you those who are hurting, who need to know they aren't alone, and then be His hands and feet.  This is going to take some preparation on your part.  Pray and ask God to show you how you should respond.  I have a blogging friend that carries candy canes around with her at this time of year with a little note attached to them thanking the recipient for their service.  She gives them to cashiers, buggy boys, nurses etc.  Others have made "blessing bags".  A ziplock bag full of items a homeless person might need such as hygiene items, restaurant gift cards etc.  I don't know how God would like to use you, but I do know He DOES want to use you.  All you have to do is open yourself up to that possibility, and allow God to move.

We would love it if you shared some of your ideas and experiences in the comment section!


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