"And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing." Genesis 12:2
As some of you may know, I have a small jewelry business. I spend hours and hours and hours designing and making jewelry and then almost as many hours at shows selling my jewelry. Some shows are a great success and some are, by earthly measures, a complete flop. I learned early on, there has to be something bigger than a dollar amount that makes this worthwhile. But sometimes I forget...
This past weekend I tried a new show in the Asheville area. My mom took time off work and drove up to help me. We left on Thursday afternoon and didn't return until Sunday evening. I missed my family and one of my favorite annual markets, but I had been so drawn to do this show that I was certain it was where I was supposed to be.
But the weekend didn't live up to my expectations... Some would say it was pretty much a flop... People weren't attending and the ones who came just weren't buying... By Saturday afternoon, I was fed up... I wanted to leave... I wanted to be home with my husband... Or catching up with our kids... Or shopping with my mom... anywhere but sitting on a stool in a large, cold building bored to tears!
But none of the circumstances stopped my mom... On Friday, she made her way around the venue and she took the time to get to know some of the people. She listened to their stories, she purchased some of their creations, she offered words of encouragement... On Saturday, she made her rounds to say hello and check on them... She was being a blessing to so many people.
No doubt I'm over-simplifying God's promise to Abram, but I think there is such a practical application for us, in our day to day lives, as demonstrated by my mother... We should intentionally be waiting and watching for opportunities to be a blessing to others.
God told Abram that He would bless him, so that he (Abram) would be a blessing to others. But how often do I squander my blessings on myself? Or do I miss an opportunity to bless another because I'm grumpy when things don't go my way? Or too busy? Or too focused on my own agenda? Plain and simple, we are to be a blessing to others because that reflects the love, grace and mercy of Jesus to a world who is so starved and thirsty to know Him.
As I watched my mom this weekend, I started watching for my own opportunities to bless others... And in the process, I was overwhelmed with God's great blessings... Not because He brought a huge sale at the last minute, but just because I met some of the nicest people and He showed me ways to be a blessing to them (I think it's more fun to BE a blessing than to GET a blessing!).
Things aren't always going to turn out like we plan, but it doesn't have to mean it's a waste of time or a failure... It can still be an opportunity to bless others.
So during this Christmas season, as we celebrate our greatest blessing ever, Jesus Christ, let's slow down and take time to be a blessing to others. In fact, let's commit to start each day with a prayer asking God to give us HIS heart to bless others!