What a beautiful day it had turned out to be. Days like this I truly appreciated the large store front window which spanned across the front of our waiting area. Main street in my home town proved to be the perfect location to work, particularly during this chapter of my life. Friends and neighbors waved when passing by, often sticking their head in the door for a brief chat.
City employees worked diligently across the street hanging Christmas decorations reminding me the holidays were fast approaching. I love everything about the Christmas season. This year, however, I had no money for presents. I was grateful for what I did have. I had a paycheck and child support, which if managed carefully met our needs. I felt that the kid’s Dad would buy them gifts, but I couldn’t be sure. Even if he did, I hated not having the option to give them something from me. I knew Mom and Dad would help if I asked, but I didn’t feel it was their responsibility. Besides, I wanted to give them something in appreciation for all they had done for me and my children, not ask for more. For the first time since being an adult I had no direct source from which to give, and a sense of frustration settled over me.
It shamed me to feel this way. After all, God had provided a job, a place to live, a vehicle, food…what more did I need? I grabbed a stack of papers and headed for the copier before my emotions completely took over. Crying seemed to be my predominant method of dealing with every emotion, and the current circumstances only made things worse. My thoughts so consumed me that I failed to notice my boss had entered the room and walked over to my desk. As a result I almost ran over him stopping just short of a full-fledged collision.
Chuckling, he held out a white envelope for me to take. Thinking it was something to mail, I reached for the stamps on my desk. As I went to place the stamp, I noticed my name written across the envelope. My boss shook my hand telling me he made it a practice every year to give employees a little something at Christmas to show his appreciation. He went on to say that although I had only been there a couple of months, I had worked hard and I deserved a little something. I am quite sure he was being kind because even though I had attempted to put my all into the job, I felt as though I had muddled through the past two months on autopilot.
He walked away before I could thank him. Unable to wait, I opened the envelope to find a check made payable to me in the amount of four hundred dollars. I closed my eyes humbled by the fact that God knew my heart and had met its desire. This gift went beyond a need. More than just money, it illustrated to me how God delights in giving his children good things. Even more, because He gave to me, I was able to give to others. Never before had I experienced so much joy in choosing presents to give. God used the Christmas of 1995 to teach me the ultimate joy of giving in times of waiting.
Psalms 37:3-6 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.