Every year my family buys presents for Operation Christmas Child, an organization through Samaritan’s Purse that sends Christmas presents and the truth of the gospel to children all over the world. You can also track your box and see what country it goes to (in recent years ours have gone to Algeria, Romania, and Russia).
It’s a wonderful family tradition that we do each November to remind us of the true reason for the season: Sharing the love and truth of Jesus!
This year we filled two boxes, one for a boy and one for a girl. As we went and shopped for special items to fill the box, my 3-year-old found this cute squishy dinosaur that we thought would be perfect of one of the boxes. She carried it throughout the store and held tightly to it on the car ride home.
When it was time to pack the boxes, I told her to put the dinosaur in and she started crying because she loved it so much and wanted to keep it for herself. For a moment I wavered, thinking we could get something else to fill the box and let her keep the toy she had grown so attached to.
But my husband gently pulled her aside and explained that we aren’t called to give away things we don’t care about. Sometimes God calls us to give something we love to someone else, because we have so much and they so little. Everything we have comes from God, so we are called to love and give sacrificially, for God’s glory.
My little girl wiped her face and gingerly placed the dinosaur in the box. Sniffling, she said that a special little kid was going to love her squishy dino.
It was a valuable lesson for all of us.
Is God calling you to sacrifice something, for His glory? Too often we hold on to things with a clenched fist, whether it’s our money, our possessions, our schedule, our preferences, etc. But we forget that God is the one who gives us all things
1 Chronicles 29:14 “…Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
Psalm 24:1 “Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
There is such joy to be found when we lovingly serve and give to others, out of an overflow of grateful hearts.
Let’s pray this week for practical ways we can honor God with our time, our talent, and our treasure.
If you’re interested in filling a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, I have created a free planning guide and letter template for you to include in your box: