Many years ago, I used to cheer for the San Francisco 49’ers. One of my favorite football players on that team was a guy named Ronnie Lott. Not only was he a great free safety with an illustrious career, but, boy could that guy hit. I mean he would line up wide receivers coming across the middle and just lay a guy out. Sometimes, you could hear his hits way up in the upper deck. I mention this because he used to really hammer opposing players and they would really feel the impact of that hit. Occasionally, God delivers a blow to me when I seem to be running across the middle as well.
I was listening to Joyce Meyer the other day on Christian radio. She was teaching a message on being a blessing to someone. As she was delivering God’s dispatch, in that special way that she does, I was inspired by that sermon to do something. Naturally, the very next day I left the house with a smirk plastered on my weathered face and good intentions in my heart.
Because of my difficult health conditions, my family has to deal with things that are hard and trying. Often, we have to change plans last-minute because I am really not well. This has always made me feel terrible because, I love them so much and want them to enjoy life and all that God has for them. Without putting too fine a point on it, my physical conditions can be a burden to them and I sincerely appreciate all that they do to keep me well and inspired. Therefore, that morning, I was on a mission, a mission from God (literally), to be a blessing to them.
I fired up the old Hyundai,with coffee in tow, and ventured into the frigid temp to let the Lord guide me and make that day special for them; what I wasn’t prepared for was, what God had planned for me that day. Making my way through the frozen lanes of traffic the christian book store caught my eye and I found myself turning into the parking lot. I went into the newly remodeled store and scanned the shelves to see if something would direct my attention to a gift. Bingo…I felt God leading me to something to bless my son with. Objective one complete! When I left the bookstore, I began to feel a little bit of joy rise up inside me. Now, newly tickled from the inside by the Lord, I went to World Market for something to bless my beautiful wife with. As I scanned the aisles, I traveled through a diorama of East Indian trinkets, I weaved my way though the forest of Asian paper lanterns and reached the kingdom of “Dolci Delicioso”.
There was a gathering in that aisle. Each person was scrutinizing the products with great care. Some would pick up an item, turn it over, read a little more and then each one would do “the sniff test”. They pinched their fingers together at one end to hold the rectangular package and then invariably would run the whole length under their nose gathering in a scent that seemed to be enticing each one. I wasn’t close enough yet to see exactly what every person was holding; but, when I reached the middle of that row, the corners of my mouth raised slowly in a warm smile. My discovery was: Chocolate, huge rows and rows of very fine, expensive, chocolate. Now, before you start to let the sexist idea run around in your head, the aisle was filled with equal parts male and female. Men seemed to gather the chocolate in their hands and place it quickly in the basket; while, most women took their time making the perfect selection.
Now, I knew getting a chocolate bar for my wife was going to be a tenuous process. She has very specific kinds of chocolates that she fancies and a few varieties that she absolutely dislikes. I want this neat little special blessing to be just right. So, I had to take great care and make my choice perfectly. I quickly passed by the usually suspects like: Dove, Ghiradelli, Hershey’s and Mars. They just weren’t specially enough for my fine lady. Therefore I began to peruse the belgium manufacturers; taking the time to do exactly as the rest seemed to be doing. I mean, if everyone is doing the “sniff test”, then I can’t miss out. An automatic reflex kicked in and I grabbed, what I thought was, and excellent choice and ran it across my nose like I had seen the others doing; when, I quickly remembered: I don’t have any sense of smell (one of the effects of my accident)!
Dang, what was I going to do? How was I going to make the perfect selection? Am I going to pick a treat with a weird stank? Heck, what’s a husband to do? Then, in the corner of the shelf, at the end of the aisle, I spotted it: 80% Cacao Dark Chocolate. Pow! I knew this had to be the one. So, taking a slight chance, I packed it into my basket and walked briskly, no, I would say I almost ran, to the checkout counter. The cashier shot me a funny look because I was almost giggling with excitement anticipating the reaction my secret presents were going to make.
Sitting in my car, something wonderful happened. I was hammered by Joy; suddenly and relentlessly. I could feel the great love I had for my family. I could sense the Holy Spirit and I was certain that my gifts were going to have a wonderful impact on their day. Jesus once said that “it was more blessed to give than receive”(Acts 20:35). When we give of ourselves, and go out of our way to bless someone, it makes a huge impact in someone’s life. It not only shows the love of Jesus, but it gives physical encouragement that you care and are willing to bless someone other than yourself. Unselfish living opens the door to changing the world and entices non-believers to see what this Jesus love is all about.
To drive the point home and completely sink the nail head flush, here is a passage of scripture that sums up the proper attitude to giving of one’s self and being a blessing to others around you.
It is : Philippians 2:1-2 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any
participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”(ESV)
So there it is. When we give encouragement, comfort, love, participation, affection and sympathy, joy begins to complete its work and has a lasting effect of sharing the love of Jesus which will make us all of one accord. That is the church I want to be a part of! This is the principle I want to adopt and live out. For, you too can give of yourself; heck you might find yourself one day sitting outside of a department store, in your vehicle, tears beginning to collect in your eyes, while you experience being Hammered by God’s Joy.
The Great Plains Poet, secret shopper of the Lord and receiver of God’s great hammer of joy.
Please enjoy the poem, subscribe, leave a comment here and on Facebook, and most of all, tell others what you have read here today.
Hammered By Joy
by Chris T.
Swiftly and astutely I noticed a void,
Of a hole in the world that made me annoyed.
It seems we’ve forgotten all about grace,
Looking the other way and languishing in our place.
Most haven’t ventured beyond their castle’s walls,
No sentry’s looking for the collective falls.
So I made a pact to be not of this caste,
To run up the flag of blessing upon my heart’s mast.
Searching and scanning with all my might,
For those who are struggling, but willing to fight.
I then tip-toed throughout my day,
Throwing out blessings all along the way,
Doing my best to not be seen,
While gathering all the info I could glean.
I will use my newly gained intel to make sure,
Others receive a love so pure.
For I give and care like a love-sick boy,
Hoping to see the smile of one Hammered By Joy.