I love to shop for baby shower gifts, don’t you? All those tiny clothes in pastel pink and blue, yellow and mint green, or maybe in bold and bright primary colors—or these days in beige, brown and black, as well! I especially love the frilly little girl clothes, but I must admit, baby boy clothes are much cuter than they used to be. And baby toys now are so clever and funny—and expensive!
How fun, though, to shop for a new baby—especially when that new baby is your own grandbaby!
I went shopping for our newest soon-to-be grandchild yesterday—but he’s no baby! Oleg is a 14 year old orphan in the Ukraine, who will soon join Julie and David’s family as their beloved son, and eagerly anticipated brother to Benjamin, Joshua and
Hannah. I had the same feelings yesterday as I shopped for Oleg as I would had I been shopping for any new addition to the family—anxious to meet him, curious to know more about him, and already loving him.
I have been with Julie and David on a daily basis on this four-year journey to adopt, so the joy to see the Lord bringing Oleg into the
family has been intense for all of us. Oleg entered the orphanage four years ago—very nearly at the same time Julie and David began their adoption journey. Coincidence? No, I think not. I believe the Lord started directing David and Julie’s path to Oleg at that very moment.
I can still hear the excitement in Julie’s voice a few days ago. “Mom, I finally got to talk to Oleg this morning!” she exclaimed. They
had been trying for weeks to Skype with him, but technical difficulties and the lack of a translator at times had made it impossible. “It was wonderful! He told me he had had several dreams about us since he went back to the Ukraine.” Best of all, she was able to tell him herself that in less than three weeks she and David would be there in person to hug him and spend time with him and finally get to talk to their hearts’ content!
He was so excited—and so are they! An opportunity arose for them to go with a small group to Oleg’s orphanage for a week and to actually stay right there at the orphanage, eat with the kids and put on a week of Bible “camp” for them. The children at the orphanage will be on their fall break from school, so the opportunities for them to be able to spend quality time with Oleg and really bond with him could not be better.
Julie and David wanted so badly to be able to go, but there were several obstacles in the way. One by one, the Lord cleared those hindrances away and now here we are—preparing to shower Oleg and the other children at the orphanage with as many little blessings as we can! I am making bracelets for all the girls and Julie is buying little gifts for all of them, as well as taking candy and other goodies and even whatever winter clothes she can get together for the orphans. Of course, they are taking “special” gifts to Oleg and we are sending presents to him from his new grandpa, grandma and Uncle Robbie, too!
It is always a joy to share with others. We love giving gifts to our family and friends. As parents (and grandparents) we delight in giving to our children. It is a blessing, as well, to share with those we know are poor and needy—a blessing both to them and to us. Whether it is helping out someone on the street, or doing a Christmas shoebox for a child on the other side of the world, or giving of our time and assistance to an elderly neighbor, it blesses our hearts and theirs—and the Lord’s.
Remember the old hymn “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing” ? That phrase came from Ezekiel 34:26, “And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.” The Bible tells us that God showers us with blessings and every good gift. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) And as much as we love giving gifts to our children and grandchildren, our Heavenly Father delights in giving His children good gifts
even more. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11)
He wants us to be givers, as well—not only to those near and dear to us, but to the poor and needy. Paul said in Acts 20:35, “…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The words he was referring to were from a parable Jesus spoke, “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14)
Jesus says when we give to those in need, it is as if we are giving to Him. “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:35-40)
We are thrilled to be able to send gifts to our new grandson—but just as excited to send “showers of blessings” to the rest of the kids there, too. I so wanted to do Operation Shoebox again this Christmas with Samaritan’s Purse, but with our income being cut by more than a third recently, and all the other expenses we’ve had lately, I just didn’t think we could do it this year. I’m going to have to reconsider, though. Jesus’ words remind me, we still have far, far more than most of the world and surely out of our abundance we can give a little more. And what a blessing to know when we give to those in need, we are giving to our precious Savior, too!
I’m excited to shower those kids in the Ukraine with little gifts; excited to fill shoeboxes with little blessings for poor children somewhere in this hard world—and excited to receive showers of blessing and joy in the giving!