Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-5

Paul wrote, “[The Macedonian churches] urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.”

—2 Corinthians 8:4 (NIV) 

For months people had been giving to me while I struggled with cancer. But it was hard to be in a holiday mood when I had nothing to give others—no gifts, not even my time. I felt useless and angry. I was used to being a giver, not a taker. 

I decided to go see a holiday production, hoping it would get me into the Christmas spirit. During intermission, I won a voucher for a Christian summer camp for teens. It was as useless to me as I felt to the rest of the world. As the usher handed me the voucher, I suddenly felt the need to turn around. Behind me sat a mom speaking to her teenaged daughter about the camp prize. “Don’t give up. Look how close you came to winning,” the mom said, pointing at me.

“Merry Christmas!” I said, handing over the prize. Tears ran down both their faces, and the daughter thanked me repeatedly. It turns out that for years she had prayed to attend camp. I had also prayed to be a giver again. What a sign of God’s greatness and love! That night, I went home and put up some Christmas lights while the spirit of Christmas shone brightly within me. 

Prayer—Thank you, God, for answering prayer and providing us with opportunities to give to others. Amen.

Thought for the Day—No matter my circumstances, God can always use me.

—Nina Ward, Florida

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