The Tale of Three Jackets

As I was going through my closet this Summer, I asked God to help me find a winter jacket with longer sleeves. Though I had a beautiful “tall” jacket, the sleeves were too short and I had to wear long gloves to cover the two inch difference. Before I even had a new jacket, I had a casual conversation with God about who I could give my other jacket to. I didn’t want to offend someone with my old “junk.” He gave me a name, and yet I was tentative. I kept checking back with headquarters.

Initially, I forgot to bring it with me. However, as I started the car, God reminded me to go back and get her jacket. On my way to meet her, I nervously called and asked if she could use a coat. “Bring it,” she quickly said. I shouldn’t have been surprised – it was a perfect fit. She even commented on the ideal sleeve length.

“I’ve been praying for a new jacket for two years,” she said with tears in her eyes. I was more blessed giving her that jacket than I was when I later got mine. The blessing stayed with me for some time and propelled into a new way of thinking. What did I have that I could give away?

A few weeks later, I found a great new dress jacket on sale. Once again, I had an extra jacket. I prayed, received my answer and made a phone call. She’d wanted a dress jacket for a long time. And you know, it also fit just right.

Mom didn’t like her heavy leather jacket because it was difficult for her to take on and off. I convinced her to buy it when she first moved from Oregon. However, I didn’t realize that a jacket with some poundage would be hard for her to handle. Plus, it was never really her style. Last winter she wore it only once. So, this year I helped her find a more suitable jacket in a style she likes. Since last winter I’ve been asking God what we should do with it. He gave me the same name every time.

Mom vacillated about whether she should keep it. It was hard for her to release it because even though she didn’t like it, she spent good money on it and her generation was taught to keep things and “make do.” But when I told her about the woman God wanted me to give it to, she agreed wholeheartedly. Giving away the jacket was as exciting as Christmas. All three of us were blessed. And as an added bonus, we found the gloves mom lost last year in the pockets.

God used these three jackets to teach me:

1. You don’t need to have a lot of money to bless others, you just have to be willing to listen and obey.

2. How much I love it when God uses me to meet the needs of His people.

3. It’s more blessed to give than receive. My new jackets don’t bless me nearly as much as giving the others away.

So what about you? What do you have that can bless others? I’ll bet you have some things in your basement someone else needs. ‘Tis the season. Ask God what you can give and who you can give it to. May God bless you as you bless others.

This photo was taken last November with my old dress jacket – we still haven’t seen snow here in the city.


11 thoughts on “The Tale of Three Jackets

  1. What a beautiful story! Isn’t it amazing! I am so glad that you prayed about it and then listend to God and obeyed him. I have been on the receiving end of someone’s old clothes and I was so thankful. It is so wonderful that you learned another amazing thing about our Lord and that you were so blessed by giving!Have a great day!Sharon

  2. That puts a whole new perspective on things we keep around that don’t really fit anymore, but we hate giving them up. Thanks for the post.

  3. I LOVE giving away my things – even my favorite ones. I generally find that I get more joy from sharing things than owning them. It seems illogical, but it makes my heart happy!

  4. I’ll bet all three of those women felt extremely blessed by your generosity! 🙂 I agree with Megan. I want to see that story in a magazine (or a book) one of these days! You’re an amazing friend Jan! You’re definitely a blessing to me!

  5. It is so funny that I read this post today because I am currently in the process of cleaning out my closet and giving things away. Your post gives new energy to a job that was getting a little mundane. Thanks!

  6. I loved the story. That may think about clothes I have or my children have in their closet that are either too small or simply don’t even wear anymore, which I should pack up and give to someone who really needs it. Besides, it’s not about how much money you spent to bless someone. It’s about giving more of yourself to be a blessing to others. Great post!!

  7. Hi Friend,Wow. Heather brought me to this post. I can’t believe I missed. I don’t mind at all admitting to being one of the three recipients. It blesses me even more to know the bigger story to my new coat that I adore. BTW, it’s a great color for me, too. LOL . . . and did you know I now carry one of your old handbags. It came via another person . . . totally cute. I laughed today when someone commented that the style of my purse matched the style of my coat!!And, BTW, I saw the recipient of the leather jacket the other day and mentioned how perfect her new coat was for her. :o)Then found out our coats had come from the same place!!

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. - Psalm 34:19

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