Gifts come in unexpected packages

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing Columnist

Have you received gifts you didn’t know you had until you acted in faith? The seed gift for this story was sown in 2015 when two dear friends donated over 500 books to Tim’s Gift. They gave with exceedingly great joy knowing their shelves were clean and their gifts (books) would bless others.

For two weeks, children from The Learning Station and I sorted and cataloged books for Tim’s Gift library. Excess books were stacked in boxes as we prayed what to do with them. A few days later, we had a Book Give A Way. Each Sonshine Kid (children at The Learning Station) picked out two books to take home with them. The others books were neatly displayed outside where people walking by were intrigued to stop and browse. The children excitedly took ownership in finding new homes for the books. When the last book was given away, we knew we had embraced sowing and reaping as Jesus taught in the parables. The two friends parted with treasured collections, we kept what could be used and gave away the rest, people received new books, and God is glorified every time a book is opened and read.

One Autumn morning, three months after receiving the books, my heavy heart hurt like a toothache when someone said hurtful things about my family. Being by myself for two hours at Tim’s Gift is just what the Great Physician ordered. The painful remarks stuck in my heart like a sandspur, but I knew I must take the step of faith to pull out the hurt and forgive, for we cannot be blessed when offense is wedged in our hearts. The devil had plans to ruin my day but they didn’t pan out. The gift of being closely connected to Jesus Christ has perks that empower us to stand strong when adversity and heartache hover like a hurricane. I turned up the praise music and prayers spoken in languages of love understood by those who have the gift. Dancing around like a Dancing with the Stars contestant, my foot hit something underneath the tablecloth. Kneeling down to check it out, a box of books was revealed. I sat down in the middle of the floor to go through them and found a gift He had surely been saving for this very day.

A tattered paperback book about Ever Increasing Faith caught my eye with a yearning to open and read. Sittting cross legged, I read the foreword in awe of the author, Smith Wigglesworth, born in England in 1859, lover of the Lord and seeing people get the gift of knowing Jesus and speaking in tongues, uneducated plumber, started a part time ministry that became world-wide evangelistic ministry in 1907, and 18 of his greatest sermons were recorded in this little book I held in my hands. My reading – releasing – rejoicing time was interrupted when someone came in the front door at Tim’s Gift seeking help.

My morning time of being hurt, being, healed, and being close to Christ while reading words from an amazing man of God who had the gift and shared it through sermons and living like Jesus, was exactly what I needed, and He knew it! God knows what you need too! He is no respecter of persons and comes to all His children in times of hardships or happiness; however, we (His children) must take the step of faith and seek Him in order to receive.

Wise men still seeking Him is relevant today as it was when Jesus was born. The Wise Men would have missed the blessing of seeing the Christ Child had they not believed and stepped in faith. God led them to Jesus but they had to get up off the couch, put down the distractions, and GO! God leads you and me to gifts beyond our wildest dreams; yet, we must get out of the way and let Him have Thine own way. He must mold us and make us while we wait, yielded and still. He searches and tries us, washes us whiter than snow so in HIs presence we can humbly bow. When wounded and weary, we pray for help. The Savior divine touches and heals. Have thine own way Lord, hold o’er our being absolute sway, fill with Thy Spirit ‘till all shall see…Christ only, always, living in me!

The little book Smith wrote over one hundred years ago stays in my book bag or on my desk. Every time I read and re-read his messages, I grow closer to Christ with an ever increasing faith and renewed appreciation for the gift.

Do you have the gift? Do you enjoy spending time with Jesus? Are you seeking Him but can’t seem to hear His voice or feel the peace that passes all understanding when He lives in your heart? Are you sowing and giving or are you clogged up and cranky, stressed and overextended with little time left over to give to others and commune with Christ?

A responsive reading in our hymnal shares words that show the beauty of His Gift.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Thanks be to God for His indescribable GIFT!

Next week, I will share Smith’s sermon on the perfect way to receive the Gift!

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing Columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.


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