"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (NIV) 2 Corinthians 9:7
It started a couple of weeks before Christmas. The holidays were approaching and life, as usual, was very busy. With work being extremely taxing, I was finding little time to do all that was needed at home to prepare for the holidays. As I continued to check things of the holiday 'to-do' list, God kept pushing me in a direction I didn't have on the plan - bake cookies.
Yes, many of us bake cookies around the holidays. I applaud those people! I enjoy the decorating, the planning, the gift buying, the meal preparing. Although I enjoy an occasional holiday cookie, this wasn't what God was nudging me to do. He wasn't saying, "bake cookies". God was saying, "BAKE COOKIES - AND A BUNCH OF THEM." Okay, I can do that. I can bake a batch or two. Have a few around the house, bring some into work. The driving purpose wasn't that, though. God kept saying, "Give cookies to your neighbors."
Please let me explain. Our lives are busy and time at home has always been precious to me. Right or wrong, I've never been the big neighborly person. Certainly we will stop along a walk for a quick chat, but we've never been the "let's have a barbecue" type of people. So, this "nudge" that God was giving me seemed a bit out of character. Better yet, He was telling me who I should be giving these cookies to!
So, I decided to take the plunge. I took a Friday off from work, went to the store Thursday night, and bought all types of baking items. Friday morning I woke up with a kick in my step and a cup of coffee in my hand. Let the baking begin! Seven hours later I had 11 different types of cookies and holiday goodies. Yes, they are the ones in the picture. I then went off on my distribution journey.
House to house I went. Yet, once again, the true purpose for this baking endeavor was God telling me to take cookies to Debbie and Jeff's house. So off I went. Debbie seemed very appreciative and I was glad. I went about the rest of the evening with a lighter kick in my step. The next day, there was a little package on our porch with a beautiful ornament and a heartfelt note - from Debbie. She shared how the plate of cookies meant so much. They were battling with Jeff's recurring cancer and the act of kindness really impacted her. There it was, the greater purpose. I didn't know that Jeff's cancer was back. I know the help a family can use during treatments as I have been there.
Now a new journey has begun - one of meals and coffee time. One of praying with a purpose for that family. God has plans for us that we never expect. A nudge for a plate of cookies has turned into a purpose for hope and healing. God does work in incredibly mysterious ways. It's our job to listen, to follow, and to pray. May you feel His nudge, lean into His arms, and let Him carry you to His purpose.
"Dear Jesus, your motives and purpose may not seem clear to us at times. Yet, let us have the faith to follow your desires so that we may fulfill the purpose that you have for us on Earth. Please bless all who read this that they may take the time to reach out for the purpose you have given to them. In your gracious name we pray, Amen."