I finished displaying the last of my items on tables in the garage. I was ready for the sale to begin. About that time, the local news outlets began broadcasting the needs of a family who lost their home and all of its contents in a fire. The Red Cross provided temporary housing and requested donations from the community to assist this family. I knew that many of the items displayed in my garage sale could help to relieve the trauma and stress these unknown neighbors had suffered. My heart went out to them and I called to let them know they could look through my garage sale items and take anything that might meet their needs.
Soon after, a quite unkempt-looking family arrived in two old and beat up pickup trucks. After they saw what I offered, they began to load their vehicles. One by one, they carried each tote full of toys, clothing, and household items to the trucks. I’d hoped to reuse the bins holding the items for sale, not sell them. My jaw sank to the floor as I watched them load the more valuable furniture, bicycles, and décor items. At one point, I had to say, Woah! They began to remove my kitchen table I used to display items. Other than that, I did not have the heart to stop them. They thanked me and drove off with every single item I intended to sell, and then some. I estimated the value of their haul at approximately $1,000.00.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
When we give, we receive rewards greater than what we gave in the first place. Our rewards come as blessings, some spiritual and some more practical, and not all of them arrive in this present life. God promises to reward our generosity, but as Christians, we don’t give to receive a reward. Our financial giving can be applied to other forms of generosity toward others, as well. We are not to judge, but to have both a giving and forgiving spirit. When we offer our forgiveness to a needy soul, God will reward us with even more grace. If we extend our hearts and hands to help another, we are lending to the Lord, who pays the very best interest.
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19:17
About six weeks later, my husband received an unexpected bonus, in the amount of $2,000.00, from his employer. In that moment of discovery, I remembered the garage sale and marveled at how God rewards the giver. I came to believe that God gives more to those he knows will give to others.
And you? Have you experienced the rewards that come with giving? Do you have a plan for helping those in need this Christmas?