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.