Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 (NKJV)
A miracle happened in our town last week. You had to be there to believe. It was one of the worst days of winter with deep snow and sub-zero temperatures. One look out the window made you just want to sit at home by a fire. But we couldn’t. A special event was planned for some dear friends. Their son Jake needs a kidney transplant. A small group organized a benefit dinner and auction to help raise money for his expenses.
I arrived at 4:45 p.m. to set up my cook book table, another fundraiser for Jake. A few people were gathered here and there around the American Legion, looking at auction items and visiting. Servers were busy lining up roasting pans, lovingly prepared that morning. Long blue tables set up by Jake’s 4H club the day before, waited expectantly for guests. Would all those chairs fill?
By 5:15 p.m., more people came through the door, shaking the snow and cold from boots and jackets. People began to sit at the tables. At 5:30 p.m. our pastor said grace and folks started going through the food line. Pulled-pork sandwiches, potatoes, coleslaw and goodies filled their plates. And the people kept coming through the door. I imagine some people lost their seats to new arrivals when they were up getting their food.
By 7:00 p.m., the Legion was jam-packed, with hardly any standing room, the food was mostly gone, and the auction began. Items were donated from people in our town, our county, and across our state! What was planned as a three hour event, lasted for six hours, with folks finally heading home at 11:30 p.m. We later learned that in those 6 hours, 600 people came and $60,000 was raised to help Jake. That’s $100/person and $10,000 an hour! Wouldn’t you call that a miracle?
Why did this happen? Because God wanted it to happen! He blessed this event because all glory was given to Him by Jake’s mom and dad, Wendy and Ode. This family is so dear, always giving so much to others…baking cookies, taking a meal, driving someone to an appointment, helping with ranch chores, praying for us… you name it! And so we all wanted to give back to them.
The same day as the auction, Wendy received the incredible news that she is a perfect match to give her son Jake a kidney. I was so happy for her, I cried. I realized on my way home, that even though we all wanted to give so much to Jake, we can’t out-give his mom who gets to give him the gift of life twice!
And I know Wendy will want me to tell you, the same is true with Jesus. Jesus also gives us the gift of life twice…once when we are born and once when we are born-again, confessing that Jesus is Lord.
So many of us want to give back to Jesus, for all He has done for us, for washing away our sins and giving us the hope of eternal life. We want to give offering at church, we want to teach Sunday school, serve cookies, help a neighbor…all things Jesus wants us to do.
But when it comes down to it, we can’t out-give God. For He gave His only Son. We just have to accept His free gift and say, “Thank you, dearest Jesus.”
Today’s TEA CUPP: Please keep praying for Jake, Wendy, Ode and all their family. Next week doctors will remove one of Jake’s kidneys and he’ll go on dialysis to clean up his system. Then this spring, his mom will give him a kidney. Thank you for your continued prayers.
If you’d like to support the family by purchasing a cook book, you can stop by or contact the Big Timber Evangelical Church (PO Box 696, Big Timber, MT 59011). Cookbooks are only $15, full of small town delicious cooking!
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9 (NKJV)