Ah the wonder of gift giving. God inspires such detail.
In James 1:17 Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.18 He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.
He alone knows the full weight and impact of the gifts we give. I thought today, nearing Christmas I would share a story from roughly 10 years ago. I had Justus in Elementary School and Jonah, a toddler about 2 years, oh yes and a newborn baby, Obediah.. Often I would traverse the pass between Eastern Washington and Seattle for visits with friends and to attend some remarkable gatherings. Before Obediah was born I had met Addie, a young 20 year old who seemed like my sister straight away. She approached me for prayer, and I began to pray she would encounter the love of God. Tears flowed freely from her eyes and the impact of something far more powerful than words graced her life. She met Him.
Needless to say we were fast friends. I, a young mother with boys (now I also have a daughter) and she single and bold in her desire to serve Jesus. Imagine a free bird who plays on the wind and know you know Addie. Moving forward we would experience many stories with God orchestrating our future and friendship.
The one I wish to share today with you is about her birthday. I dreamt I went out and bought her a beautiful heavy-cream colored lace skirt with a light cotton almost sheer tunic top. So clear was the dream I decided to go find this gift. Packing my children up in the car I drove to the University district in Seattle to shop. Addie was planning to serve as a missionary in Africa for a possible 6 months. I would miss her, and wanted to give her something remarkable.
As I parked the car, I felt a wave of exhaustion rush over me. Shopping with the boys was never an easy task. I prayed asking God for strength and gathered my gear, stroller, diaper bag, toys for the boys to carry and headed for the shops. I was clueless which shop to look in for this item. Thankfully, God was with me and the first shop I entered was the one. I glanced around looking for a sales clerk, not wanting to waste time, boys have NO patience for shopping.
She was young and striking, tall with long red hair and a friendly smile as she took in my ramble about what kind of skirt and specific ivory lace fabric. Feeling like a further explanation was needed, I told her about my friend Addie heading off to Africa and the dream prompting my shopping trip. She looked at me with an understanding uncommon to this circumstance. She plainly confessed, she has had dreams from God. We shared one of those amazing stranger to stranger and yet completely comfortable conversations. She gave me the back story about how last week another sales clerk had pulled this organic cotton/lace skirt out of the back. She said it had been marked down and placed on the sale rack. I was blessed. It was similar to the skirt from my dream. The only difference is this one had a light blue sheer layer under the lace. I wish I could describe how beautiful it was but words fail. Purchasing the skirt I was convinced the whole shopping excursion was put in motion for the sales woman. It had been a gift to share our faith in God and see his purpose in our lives connecting.
Gift box in hand all three items inside (the skirt with it’s two layers and the sheer top in it’s perfect weight for the hot dry heat of Africa) I delivered the package to Addie. She smiled and said, “I had a dream you gave me a gift.”
It’s interesting now, how I almost didn’t act on the whole thing because of the tired moment in the car before shopping. I am thankful I had prayed and carried on.
She opened the gift and commented how in her dream the present I gave was ivory with blue. I thought, hah so the blue was no mistake.
Addie traveled to Africa and a few years later we caught up again. I asked about the skirt and top, just curious I guess. She said she gave them away. The shirt to a girl who had never received a birthday gift. It was perfect for her and brought the young African girl real joy. She knew that God specifically loved her by a simple gift on her birthday.
The skirt she said went to a young bride, with no wedding clothes. It was perfect. It was God. The gift for Addie was more than just a gift from a friend. It was a seed sown in obedience to God’s prompting, bearing fruit beyond my intention.
Oh friend, listen to the voice of the Lord when he asks you to give.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
I promise the the old adage is true. It is better to give than receive.