The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts. I was there and saw it for myself. They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians. 2 Corinthians 8:3-4 (TM)
When I was in high school, my parents went through some extremely difficult times financially. I was the last of the four children still at home and my sister was in college. I will never forget the afternoon I sat at the counter drinking my after school soda as mom opened the mail. I looked up from my Coca-cola to see tears steaming down my mother’s face, her hand over her mouth.
My sister needed money for an upcoming college event and my parents didn’t have it. My folks did not have the money, nor did they have any idea how they were going to get it. They had not said a word to anyone, but chose to pray for God to provide the amount, which was in the hundreds of dollars.
In the envelope my mother had opened that day was the exact amount of cash needed for my sister’s trip and a small note that read, "In Jesus name."
To this day I don’t know who sent that pure and generous gift. I was there. I saw it for myself. That day became a life-long lesson. Not only did I learn that God can and will provide, but I also learned that I want to give that kind of blessing to others.