I received an unexpected gift from the Lord while working from Chick-fil-A this week. It was mid-morning, and I was feverishly pounding away at my to-do list. I answered several long overdue emails, scheduled a few meetings, made a few phone calls, and was gearing up to do a few other administrative tasks, when, out of nowhere, a little voice interrupted me. “Excuse me, Sir, I’d like to give you this.” I looked up to see a 6 or 7 year old little girl who I did not recognize. She nervously slid a small card across the table in my direction. Her mother, standing beside her, chimed in, “It’s Christmas, and I’m teaching my daughter the value of giving. Every day, we try to give something away, and today, she chose you as the recipient of our gift. Merry Christmas.” I responded with, “Oh, wow, thank you, that is really kind…” and off they went. As they walked to their car, I opened the card to find a $5 gift card for Chick-fil-A and the words, “Merry Christmas from the Pritcherds.”
Being encouraged by this sweet act of kindness from a child and the brilliant simplicity in parenting by this mother, I shared the event with Christy and our girls that evening around our dinner table. Christy quickly responded, “That’s a great idea. We should do something like that.” And so, we did. Lex, my 13 year old, bounced up to her bedroom, packaged up a rag doll, pillow, and blanket that she made several months ago and planned to bring it to our Gospel Community Group that night. She knew exactly who she wanted to be the recipient of her gift. We arrived a little late to group and with no small excitement, Lex gave her gift to a young girl in the group. Smiling ear to ear, a sparkle in her eyes, this grateful child gave Lex a strangling bear hug and said, “Thank you so much! I love it.” As if that wasn’t enough, her parents proceeded to tell us that just that afternoon, they asked their daughter, “What is your most favorite activity in the world to do? Swimming? Riding bikes? Going to the park? Playing games? Pick anything!” She answered, “More than anything in the world, I love playing with dolls.”
Coincidence? I don’t think so! Nothing is! God clearly arranged it all: the little girl “randomly” choosing me to bestow her gift; me sharing her kindness with my family; our family being scheduled to attend that specific group that evening; Lex having made that doll several months ago; The Lord freeing Lex up to give away something she really liked (this alone is a big enough deal to rejoice over!); choosing that item to give away to that child on that specific day. It was all divinely ordained by a kind God who works out every detail of our lives for His own glory.
I doubt the little girl in Chick-fil-A ever hears the full impact of her generosity. I doubt that the little girl’s mother comes to know anything about my response, Lex’s response, the little girl in our community group’s response, her parents response, and now, your response as you hear about their kindnesses and God’s providence. My hunch is that this mother was simply trying to teach her one daughter one little lesson about the value of giving and extending kindness to others. Her aim was not likely wider than a little lesson for a single child. Perhaps this child had been struggling to share. Perhaps this child was like most children, far more concerned about getting than giving. Whatever the case, God most definitely had wider plans and deeper impact than a mere $5 card to a random man working at Chick-fil-A.
Isn’t that just like the Lord!? We bring a little barley loaf of faithfulness and he feeds 5,000. We respond in small faith and he grows it into big faith. We impart a small lesson to a child and it blesses many!
There are many lessons here, if you have ears to hear them. Lessons in generosity and the value of giving. Lessons for parents to not grow weary in training your children. Lessons for children to give what they have to others, trusting that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Lessons for all of us to be faithful in the mundane and ask the Lord to bless our faithfulness far beyond what we could think or imagine. Who but God will ever know the full impact of your faithfulness and sacrificial love for others? What lesson(s) does God have in this for you?
It was just $5, right? What $5 do you need to let go of to teach your children similar lessons? How can you follow the example of this child who obeyed her Mommy and selected a random man to bestow a gift upon? As faithful stewards of your resources, finances, talents, and abilities, isn’t it thrilling to think of God multiplying your investments far beyond your isolated purposes for those decisions!? Brothers and Sisters, leave it all on the field for king Jesus. Outdo one another in showing honor. Live today with kingdom advancing intentionality. Keep your eyes out for the massive providence of God who will use your life, your service, your gifts, your everything far beyond your own purposes. Live out the glorious truth that it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive. Thank you, Pritcherd family (wherever you are), for the gifts—the many gifts—you gave to me randomly at Chick-fil-A.
Go and do likewise.