Thankfulness & Joy Go Hand in Hand – John 316 Mission

Thankfulness & Joy Go Hand in Hand

Three years ago, while welcoming guests to John 3:16 Mission‘s annual Thanksgiving Banquet, a man pressed two Susan B Anthony dollar coins into my hand saying, “I want to give back.”

His eyes glistened with tears as he smiled from ear to ear. It was a powerful moment.

To see this man, who had next to nothing — give us all he had — touched me deeply.  I kept those two coins (replacing the donation with two, dollar bills) so I would never forget the man’s selflessness.  Humbled by his generosity, I was reminded of how Jesus was touched in the same way by the widow donating her very last coin.

As we reflect on the last year, we thank God for what He has given us. And, I would challenge us all to entertain the idea of passing on our blessings to those in need.  It is amazing how just one act of kindness can change the very course of a life. In the Bible, the individual least likely to save someone else becomes the good Samaritan.  This man goes beyond offering first aid to paying for ongoing lodging and care while the robbed and wounded man recovers.  He even offers to come back later to pay more if it is needed.  And, 2,000 years later, we are still talking about the impact of this unexpected generosity.

Once you experience the joy that comes from giving, you truly understand that: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Which brings me back to the homeless man who couldn’t wait to give us his two, dollar coins.  He shared his thankfulness by passing it on.

Here at John 3:16 Mission, we are grateful for each and every one of you who has sustained this ministry for 65 years.  It has truly been our joy to touch and transform thousands of lives that many thought were irredeemable.

My prayer is that you continue making the journey with us. Your gifts of time, talent and treasure have the capacity to change lives forever.

This article was adapted from one originally published in the Tulsa World on Nov. 23 in longer form.

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