The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Cheerful (Cherryful) Giver"
Over the years, our dear Orange Moon friend Char from Michigan has sent cherry jam to our beagles, first to Sparrow, and now to Ellie. Thankfully, beagles are generous sharers. So, both of our sweethearts have been kind enough to grace us with portions of the amazing treat (of course, I will confess to having heard a few deep rumbles of growl from both Sparrow and Ellie when I spread the concoction onto my toast a bit too thick!).
Now let me say that if you have never had Char's cherry jam, well, you've never had cherry jam! "Delicious" does not begin to describe the Heavenly recipe that somehow found its way to Char on the earth. Sparrow called it "Cherrlicious." Ellie has taken the description to a more personal level, referring to the jam as "Charlicious." Even these titles do not adequately express how absolutely wonderful the jam is, and Frances and I are grateful for generous Char, and generous beagles.
Speaking of generosity, not long after Char sent the jam, I told a friend of mine about it. "She sent 8 jars!" I said with delight. However, later that day, I looked on the shelf to discover Char had sent us 12 jars! Now, either I had miscounted, or Char's jam bears the Lord's blessing similar to the miracles of feeding thousands with a few loaves and fish recorded in the Gospels (Matthew 14:15-21; 15:32-38).
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20).
The Bible teaches that "God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:7). This is because He is Himself the cheerful Giver. "He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). Our Heavenly Father loves to provide, to bless, to bestow, and to grace His creation with abundant supply. Of course, He administers His benevolence in accordance with perfect wisdom and understanding of what is best for all. This means His generous provision does not always coincide with our perspective and definition. Israel did not understand they needed their promised Messiah to first come as a suffering servant later returning later as a conquering king. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). We do well to remember this, realizing that God's bountiful gifts sometimes come to us enrobed in meager appearance. "Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12).
Of course, sometimes the abundance shines with unveiled glory, as when The 8 becomes The 12 (not that many left now, of course!). If you know Char, you are not surprised by her generosity. She and her husband Fritz serve as beautiful reflections of their Father, and wonderful reminders of how lavishly He gives. Sometimes, His generosity graces us so obviously it almost seems we can see the Hand that bestows the gift. Other times, the abundance may be no less abundant, but far less discernible. Either way, the God who so cheerfully loves to give the cherryful (sorry, just couldn't resist that!) promises to provide in a love bursting with generosity, and applied with wisdom. The discovery of such graciousness begins in this life as we walk with our wondrous Father through faith in the Lord Jesus. It will continue forevermore, as sublimely described by the Apostle Paul…
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Weekly Memory Verse
By Him all things consist.