Chosen Ones

What should I take to Africa as gifts for the people we would meet?


I prayed hard for weeks to come up with an answer to that question. One day I felt really impressed by God that I should take necklaces. As I shared this with friends I started receiving lots of necklaces. It then dawned on me that I had collected many beautiful necklaces over the years. At LEAST fifty. (I have always had a thing for unusual necklaces.)


Before I left for Africa, I sorted through my necklaces, one by one, chain by chain, gold and silver, beads and leather, trying to determine which ones I didn’t need anymore. I began pulling out my least favorite pieces. Suddenly I was acutely aware—I should not give away the leftovers, but rather the best ones.


It became much harder to choose then. Each choice required a sacrifice on my part. I could never replace these pieces. But in His grace and interest in my personal growth, God was challenging me to give the best ones away. Some had great sentimental value; others were just so beautiful and rare that I knew I would never have the chance to buy them again.


Has God ever asked you to do something for Him as a sacrifice that you had a hard time doing?


Blessed to be a Blessing

A friend walked up to my front door and asked me to pray for him because he is really short on money. He quietly admitted that he is considering canceling his International child sponsorship, and it was breaking his heart. 

As I listened to him talk and asked him what he thought God was telling him to do, I felt a surge of heat on my face. “Wait a second,” I thought, “What is God telling ME to do here?” Although my family lives sacrificially, this friend only profits $4,000 a year, and he has just given away the last of what he had.  

The light bulb came on! I had just set aside my weekly grocery money, and though there were things I could have replaced from the past week, we had plenty to make do. I asked him to hold on a minute and I returned with some of that grocery money.  

I originally thought that I had nothing to give and was attempting to send my friend to God for the resources he needed. But God sent him to me—so that I could be the hands and feet of Jesus. The next time someone comes to me with a concern, I must first remember to examine my heart and ask my Heavenly Father what He wants me to do. I don’t ever want to miss precious moments because I am too caught up in my own world to see the gifts that God is placing right in front of me. 

When was the last time you had an opportunity to bless someone in need? 

But my God shall supply all your needs, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.                                                                                                          ~Philippians 4:19