“Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”—1 John 3:18 (NLT)
Am I really loving others and sharing my knitted gifts like I have been blogging about? Is what I say a reflection of what is in my heart?
I can definitely say that I was put to this test this past week when my husband and I got to the airport at 5:45 am for a 7 am flight to Cancun, Mexico. As the gate agent scanned my passport a 2nd time, my husband knew there was a problem. While, this trip had been booked for nearly 2 months, it hadn’t crossed my mind to check to see if my passport was expired. Our agent told us we could go to the Federal Building in Dallas and get it expedited so we could fly out later that day.
When our taxi driver came back to get us, he confirmed that was true. He gave us the address and told us exactly what documents to bring as well as telling us I could get my passport photo taken at the snack shop located in that building.
We arrived at the Federal Building at 8 am and went straight to the snack shop to get my photo taken. The clerk told us she would do it as soon as she got a break from the customers. I’d like to say I was loving her and seeing her through the eyes of Jesus when it took 15 minutes for her to take my picture. In all honesty, I wasn't being very Christlike. In fact the only fruit of the spirit that I might have been displaying was self control, by guarding my tongue, which isn't saying much.
I had a bit of an attitude with her because how she was telling me I had to take my picture. After she printed my photos and gave them to me, I tried to be nice and grateful for her taking them, but my inner feelings were not matching my words. Afterwards, my husband told me that there are new rules for passport photos and removing jewelry and putting your hair behind your ears are apparently some of them.
Thankfully, I was able to go back that afternoon to pickup my new passport. Before we left our house to get it, I felt as if God was telling me to bring one of my Threads With Red coffee cup cozies to give away. MY first thought was to give it to the girl that was so helpful at the passport office. However, I felt God telling me that I needed to give it to the clerk at the snack shop. Not only was God pricking my heart to give her the gift, but I also felt Him telling me to put the $25 Amazon gift card I had in the cup with it.
I thought to myself, “I really think I need to give my gift to the girl that was so helpful at the passport office.” When I went up to get it, I was told to come back in 15 minutes. I knew then that God was redirecting me back to the snack shop to give my gift to who HE WANTED to receive it, not me.
I am embarrassed as I type this because God was pretty clear who He wanted to receive my gift and I ignored Him. When I got to the snack shop, I apologized to the clerk for not being very nice that morning and letting her know I really did appreciate her and what she did for me that morning. I told her I wanted her to know that I noticed her kindness and that she mattered. She told me not to worry about it that she gets that all of the time because people are stressed out and she understands.
Don’t you know hearing that made me feeling even worse? It isn’t her fault when someone’s passport is expired and they are forced to expedite it. Being irritated with someone because they aren’t in as big of a rush as I am, was quite convicting for me. I couldn’t help but think, “Did she really see my devotion to Jesus in my character? Were my words matching my actions?”
Does your love for others draw others to Jesus? Do people see something different about you? I know at 8 am that clerk didn’t notice something different about me but hopefully after I went back and spoke to her, the love of Jesus was shining through my cracks. I’m thankful that I was given a 2nd chance to make things right with that clerk that day.
I told my husband earlier that day that everything happens for a reason. Not really what he wanted to hear, because he should have been on the beach not still in Texas trying to get me a new passport. However, I am a firm believer that God uses everything for His glory and I have to believe that He orchestrated me giving that gift away that day and to that very person. When we returned to the airport for our flight, do you know what that ticket agent said to my husband? “Everything happens for a reason.” I told her that I had told him the EXACT same thing!
I thank You that You are able to bring good out of my mistakes. Thank You for weaving my not so finer moments with those that can create a prettier picture. I know that in my own weakness I will not be perfect, so I praise You that despite my flaws, You are able to use my failures for Your glory. Thank You that through Your power that you can purify and change my heart to match my actions. Thank You that Your love can shine through my weakness. I pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen!
Have you written down this month’s memory verse somewhere where you can see it every day? “Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.”—1 Chronicles 16:11 (NLT)
If you are making any Threads With Red gifts to give away this month, please make sure you tweet@ThreadsWithRed or share your projects on the ThreadsWithRed Facebook page or Instagram using the hashtags #ThreadsWithRed #KnitPraiseLove and attach this tag to whatever gift you make.