Our family recently was hit by an andenovirus, almost completely debilitating all 6 of us for a week and a half. It was rough. My mom brought mountains of homemade soups, bread, fresh fruit, toilet paper, and disposable dishes. What a life-saver! As Gideon (5 yrs old) surveyed the mountains of food on our counter, with wide eyes he asked, “Are we the richest people in the world?” I smiled at him, and before I could answer, he continued. “Because this is so much food. And having this much food makes us very rich!”
He is completely right! I definitely consider us to be one of the richest families on earth. Do we have the most money or things? Not even close. But we have a God who loves us enough to send his Son to save us from our sins. Our home is filled with love, we have a church home full of more love, and we have friends and family who love us enough to sacrifice their own comfort/well-being to demonstrate their love. I don’t see how a family could be much richer than that.
I used to be able to say that our family doesn’t get sick much. Oh, we’ll catch the occasional cold, but we almost never catch anything that lasts more than 2 or 3 days. This winter changed that. I feel like in the past two months we have been sick more than we have been well. Last month was bronchitis. This recent adenovirus brought that back and added ear infections, pink eye, and the most severe sore throat I have ever experienced. Joel had to take off from work, and so did I. Thankfully he gets paid sick days, but I don’t. Even with the income wound, we are still one of the richest families in the world.
Last month when we were battling bronchitis, my dear friend Kristy brought the entire grocery store to our kitchen. We had just returned from visiting out of town family for Christmas, and our pantry was bare. Knowing it would be, and knowing we were sick, Kristy came and stocked it for us.
One of my favorite traditions from my teenage years was when we brought bags full of groceries to needy families. Helping my mom deliver those groceries was life-changing. When I was a child we were the needy family. We lived off our backyard garden. There were times we simply did not have money to go to the grocery store. People blessed us in those days, and when I was a teenager we weren’t struggling to afford groceries anymore. My parents were determined to bless other people as we had been blessed, and they did. I am thankful to have been able to witness true generosity in them.
This winter has been strange. Twice in the last month we have been on the receiving end of incredibly generous grocery drops. We didn’t ask for help. But those who love us and who love Jesus sacrificed themselves to minister to us. THAT, my friends is being the hands and feet of Jesus. We all pray for health and prosperity, but sometimes we’re not on that end of things. And in this season of sickness and need, I am humbled and in awe of the generosity of family and friends.
Kristy, and Mom, thank you for your generosity and for your love. I know neither of you were looking for a public pat on the back, but I just can’t stay silent. I want you to know how appreciated your love is, and I want everyone else to know how awesome you are. You both mean the world to me. I am very rich indeed.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'” (Matthew 25:34-40)