Thanksgiving Day is one of the most fulfilling days of the year for my family. During my years as a Cell Group leader at Victory Fellowship Church, I discovered the art of giving with love. Each Tuesday, group leaders met at the church to prepare for Wednesday’s Cell Group meeting. Group leaders hosted group meetings in their homes.
We began each meeting with praise and worship, followed by a time of prayer. Then I would teach from an outline of the Pastor past Sunday’s sermon. At the end of each meeting, we shared the goodness of God with each other.
There is one Thanksgiving holiday in particular that I will always remember. At the time, I lived in Metairie, Louisiana, about nine miles from downtown New Orleans. Because it was Thanksgiving week, Cell Group meetings were canceled. However, group leaders picked up meal boxes at Tuesday’s leadership meeting. We were to distribute them to needy families before Thanksgiving Day. The average meal consisted of a large turkey, and all the trimmings to prepare a really great holiday dinner.
Wednesday evening around 5 pm, I loaded the boxed dinned into my car. I did not know, nor did I think about who needed the meal. I trusted God to lead me to the right family. So I prayed while I drove, not knowing where the Holy Spirit would lead me.
After two hours of driving I ended up in the small town of New Sarpy, in Saint Charles Parish. Still praying, I continued to drive down this long road about 3 miles. It was almost 7 pm and it was getting dark. I drove across a set of railroad tracks when the Holy Spirit prompted me to turn left and drive alongside the tracks. I drove for another seven or eight blocks before the Holy Spirit again prompted me to turn right.
Because the street was narrow and there was a drainage ditch on either side of the street, I drove very slowly and carefully. All of the houses on the street appeared to be very old and run down. Some were wooden framed houses, others were trailer homes.
I drove past this one trailer home and I thought I saw a television through the walls. So I backed up to get a second look, and sure enough, it was a television and I could see it through the walls of this home from inside my car on the street.
I perceived in my heart that I had arrived at the place God was leading me to. So I parked on the side of this narrow street, hopped across the ditch, and walked to the trailer. When I knocked on the door an elderly lady opened the door. She looked to be about sixty-five-years-old.
“Yes, can I help you?” she asked in a very soft and polite tone.
“Maam, I would like to ask you a question if I may. What are you cooking for Thanksgiving?”
She paused and looked at me for about thirty seconds. She had a face cloth in her hand and she appeared to have a cataract or some kind of white film covering her left eye. Wiping her eye with the facecloth, she softly answered.
“Wait here, I will go get it and show you what we’re having for dinner.”
She returned to the door with a saucer in her left hand and an unopened pack of saltine crackers in the other. On the saucer, there was a three-inch thick slice of bologna. “This is what I am going to eat with my son for Thanksgiving,” she said. “We ‘goin thank the Lord and enjoy this piece of bologna.”
I asked, “Where is your son?”
She answered, “He went out to collect some cans to buy some lemonade, he ought to be back any minute.”
My eyes were filling with tears when I saw what she would eat for Thanksgiving. I did not want her to see me cry, so I said, “I have something in my car for you. I will be right back”
Unable to hold back my tears, I cried as I walked to the car to get the box. I thanked God for leading me to this lady. I perceived that she had trusted God to provide her meal, and I was the vehicle that God used to deliver the meal. As I was returning from the car, her son came home. He appeared to be about forty-years-old. He looked a bit challenged.
As I approached the house, I said, “You don’t have to worry about dinner tomorrow. The Lord told me to give you this box. “When I sat the box inside the door she immediately opened it. Both her and her son began jumping, crying, and shouting, “Look at God, look at God! Ain’t He good. God is so good!” Then they looked at me with teas in their eyes and said, “God bless you mister.”
I cried, but they cried uncontrollably. I wanted to pray with them, but they were so overjoyed they never say me leave. It gave me so much joy knowing that God had used me to bless this family and give them a reason to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
During this Thanksgiving holiday season, please take a moment to think about a family less fortunate than yours. If you are unable to give, pray that God will give you the means by which you can bless a family with a gift of love. God is our Provider and He will provide. Nothing can compare with the heartfelt celebration of giving.
Happy Thanksgiving. May God bless you and your family and shower you with abundance and love.