I recently celebrated another birthday. Yes, I made the trip around the sun again and now I am another year older. The night before my birthday, I was given strict instructions to stay in my room. I could hear my children busy in the kitchen and giggled to myself every time I saw my two youngest children peer through my bedroom door with loving smiles on their faces and, when spotted, they would come in to give me a hug for 'no apparent reason'.
Their excitement was inspiring and without knowing what they were up to, they had already given me the best gift without even knowing it - the gift of the cheerful giver.
This year we have had to ask people to do things for us where we could offer no immediate reward or payment. The asking was difficult as feelings of being a burden on others and the fear of rejection came into play. But when people put their hands up of their own accord, God showed me something very beautiful.
In their giving, I saw the heart of God. Whether it was a sacrifice of prayer, money or time, the hearts of these cheerful givers filled my heart with gratitude and love for them and taught me the value of a grateful giver like I have never seen it before. This in turn, has inspired me to want to be better at being a cheerful giver.
When people give with a smile on their face, it touches something deep inside that cannot be explained. When we give to others, we are not just giving them an object or something tangible, but we are giving them an experience of the grace that comes from the heart of God.
I see clearly now why God loves a cheerful giver. It has nothing to do with the object, it is all about the measure of the heart.
When we give to the least of these, we give to God as we reflect his love within us. Next time you give, whether it be to God, a mission, a friend, or a complete stranger, keep in mind - there is so much more going on than you know.
'Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you in return,' Luke chapter 6 verse 38.
Rebecca and her husband Tony, have four children and live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Rebecca loves writing children stories, interest articles and teaching piano. She is grateful for a God who loves us.
Rebecca Moore's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/rebecca-moore.html