My wife and I had the unique experience of spending Christmas Day in airports this year. We came out to the Seattle area to spend New Year’s with her family, and we were able to save a lot of money by traveling on Christmas Day. We decided as a couple that if we were going to spend Christmas in an airport, we were going to do our best to share the love of Christ with people that we interacted with. Little did we know that God would take the opportunity to bless us and teach us an amazing lesson.
It all started on the night of Christmas Eve. We were flying out of Orlando on Christmas Day, which is about two hours from where we live in Jacksonville. We decided to head down a day early and spend the night in Orlando rather than get up super early on Christmas Day to drive down. While in Orlando, we opted to have Christmas Eve dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Maggiano’s. While we were eating, there was a mother and son sitting at the table directly across from us. God put it on our hearts to pick up there bill. We asked the waiter to bring it to us and paid it without them knowing. We forget to tell our waiter, however, that we wished to remain anonymous. He told the woman, and she was so overjoyed that she came over to our table able slapped down a 50-dollar bill. She looked right at me and said, you use this to buy something nice for your wife.
The next day of course was Christmas Day. God had placed it on my wife’s heart a few weeks prior to dress up like an elf for our trip, and to pass out candy to the flight attendants and airport personnel who were working on Christmas Day. She was walking around and joyfully handing candy canes to children and airport personnel, when one of the TSA guards came up and handed her a brand new teddy bear. About an hour later, we boarded the flight, and she handed out candy canes to all of our flight attendants. They were all very touched. You could see it in their eyes as they took the candy. About an hour and a half into our flight, we both got up to use the restroom. As the flight attendants saw us, one of them gave us both a free meal. We joyfully accepted, as she and I had just been discussing earlier in the day how our itinerary was going to make it difficult to grab lunch.
As we sat back down in our seats with our lunch in hand. I was reminded of one of our favorite giving stories. A well known pastor wrote a book about giving, in which he tells the story of when he and his wife gave away everything. When I say everything, I mean literally EVERYTHING. They liquidated all of their assets, gave away their home, vehicles, you name it. After he was done, this pastor sat in his car with a smile on his face, an he felt the Holy Spirit ask the question, “what are you smiling about?” He responded by telling Holy Spirit, “I think I finally did it. I think I finally out have you.” Almost immediately after he said that, the pastor’s phone rang. A friend on the other line told the pastor how God has place it on his heart to offer the pastor the use of his private jet whenever the pastor needed it. The man told the pastor that he would always fuel it and have a pilot ready to take him wherever he needed to go.
It was in this moment that the pastor realized that you cannot out give God. On a much smaller scale, my wife and I came to that same realization in the airport. We had no intention of getting anything from
anyone. We were simply trying to be obedient to Christ’s command to proactively share His love with everyone. As a result, he saw fit to bless us back. And he saw fit to do it in ways that far surpassed what we had sacrificed.
We cannot out give God. He has already given more to us than we will ever have to give anyway. He gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins, and He did it when we least deserved it. Even if we had all the money in the world and we gave it away, it would pale in comparison to Him giving us Jesus! We are free to give outrageously and without limitations! We are free to give all of ourselves, because He has already demonstrated that we can trust Him when we do. He has already made it perfectly clear that He will make sure our needs are met, and that He longs to give good gifts to His children. We simply cannot out give our all good, all loving and all powerful Father in heaven!
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:31-33