Handing out full bowls
Our neighbour across the street always gives something in return when she receives something from us. If we send over a bowl of food or a freshly baked bread or something sweet, the bowl is never returned empty. Whether it’s a few soft biscuits or some fruit, they cannot receive without giving back.
That’s why this verse is so lovely to me: 10God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it.
Like the neighbour who cannot but give back because she received, those who love God cannot stop themselves from doing good to others. They receive so much in their relationship of love with God. Repeatedly, from day to day, they receive bowls of grace from God.
They cannot return those bowls empty. It happens automatically that in response to what they have received, they feel compelled to give back too. It’s like an inwritten rule.
During Covid-19, I heard about an elderly man who had to go to be tested. As he left, he asked the nurse if she knew where he could buy toilet paper, since the supermarkets in his area had sold out.
That evening, the nurse and her friend came to that man and his wife’s home with a bag full of toilet paper. They’d gone to ten shops before finding toilet paper.
They delivered the toilet paper and left, refusing any payment.
This simple act says something about nurses who had received a lot themselves and, therefore, couldn’t stop themselves from filing the bowl and sending it to someone else in need.
I often receive a bowl.
I had a bad tooth ache, and from a previous visit to the dentist realised that a proper root canal would be the next step. So, I made a long appointment.
When I got there, I said to the dentist that this procedure would probably cost him quite a bit and that he should let me know what I could contribute. Everybody struggled during Covid-19. His response: “No need, I receive so much. I would like to do this for you for free. They call it paying it forward, or something like that …”
The dentist’s bowl that he is passing on is full too.
And when we pass a full bowl to the people around us who need it so much, there is good news too. God remembers each of these acts. Although we’re not doing it so that people can see it; we’re doing it out of gratitude.
Let’s always be prepared. Let’s wait in expectation for moments where we can fill one of the bowls that we received and share it with those who need it.
Do you do something for others?
Do you do it out of love?
Where can you do more?
Father, our bowls are always filled. We receive so much from you. Every day. Please help us see those places where You want to give to others. Please help us hand out Your filled bowls in those places. In Jesus’ Name, amen.