Juicy Fruit and Jesus

“Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.”  2 Corinthians‬ ‭8:12‬

I will never forget Ms. Dacus and Ms. Beatty.

They sat in the fourth and fifth row from the front, respectively, in the middle section of the church.  Both were widows.  Ms. Dacus was my first grade Sunday School teacher.  Next to my momma, she was the best Sunday School teacher I had ever known.  Ms. Beatty sold eggs from her chickens to church members.  I think she gave away more than she ever sold.

Neither of these sweet ladies had money to speak of.  Their lives had been difficult and rocked with trials.  Yet, each and every Sunday, before the church service started, they would call the fidgety little ones of us over and give us each a pack of gum--Wrigley's Doublemint from Ms. Dacus, and Juicy Fruit from Ms. Beatty--always with a smile.  They gave generously and eagerly from what they had and never worried about what they didn't have.

God always met every need.

I was so excited to get that pack of gum each week.  It made me feel special, loved, remembered. I missed them desperately when they weren't there--not just because they gave me gum, but because their act of generosity was a picture of the Savior's love for me, and I felt it through them.

Once the church service started, I always started with the Juicy Fruit, chewing every last bit of sugar out of each piece until the pack was finished, then switching to the bright green wrapper of the Doublemint gum.  I was quiet, so there was no need for my sweet momma to break out the secret stash of lemon drops she kept in her purse for emergency wiggles and chatter.

In speaking about those who fear the Lord, Psalm 112:9 tells us, "They share freely and give generously to those in need.  Their good deeds will be remembered forever.  They will have influence and honor.

It is only now that I understand Ms. Dacus and Ms. Beatty were even more excited to give gum than I was to receive it.

What about you?  Do you have something you can share with others?  Or, do you fail to give--thinking more about what you don't have than what you do?  Has your tender and generous heart grown cold and unfeeling?

Paul addressed this with the church in Galatia as in Galatians 4:15 we read, "Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible."

Deuteronomy 15:10 says, "Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do."

There is no doubt that the act of giving brings great joy.

2 Corinthians 9:12 reads, "So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God."

May we joyfully express our thanks to Jesus for Juicy Fruit gum and every other good gift He gives us.

Goodnight, Runners.


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