“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God” 2 Corinthians 9:12
This verse reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about volunteering.
Over three years ago I volunteered every week at the Depot, a Mennonite nonprofit in Goshen, IN. I freely admit what began as a somewhat self-serving act filled a void I didn’t even know I had.
Archie was working long hours and Taylor was working and going to college. The house was just so gosh darn quiet I hated being there ( I almost have to belly laugh in comparason to how quiet my life is NOW!!!!).
I would find places to go after work just to hang out for a bit and finally settled on the Depot resale shop with the Christian music and boutique atmosphere. I would sit and page through books, listening and having Heavenly Dad whisper thoughts and nuggets from the intercom. It was during one of those quiet afternoons that He nudged me about the needs there for volunteers and my weekly routine changed from self-serving to taking my focus off of what I thought I was lacking and put it on others with their REAL physical and mental needs.
Last night, on Black Friday, I was processing my past with a friend and the memories of my time at the Depot crept up, creating their own limelight. At that moment, I deeply, passionately, missed my time there and yearned to feel…free. Free enough to be able to give precious time away. Almost every moment of my day is earmarked for a to-do to keep this life going and my head above water…or is that just the way I see it?
This verse in my time with Heavenly Dad reminded me that when we give of ourselves/volunteer, we are expressing gratitude for the abundance He has given. I have electricity, a running car, food in an actual refrigerator, running water-even a kitchen sink that works!!!!(seven weeks now and still am grateful beyond words for no longer having to do my dishes in the tub!).
I still have some projects that have to be done in order to live life, but my gratitude for Heavenly Dad’s amazing provision is burning a hole in my pocket. I’m desperately dreaming of the day when time isn’t so expensive for me and I can have the freedom to give it away…but true gratitude is when you give even when you don’t think you have anything to offer. Hmmm…maybe I need to check another pocket.
The question, I guess, might be,”How grateful and thankful am I—really?”
What’s in your pocket, my friend?
Until next time: Blessings!