There is this really cool story in the Bible, 2 Kings 7:1-9. It reminds me a little bit of Thanksgiving dinner. I would title the story: Four Lepers at Lunch. It’s about four lepers who found themselves outside the locked gates of a city filled with famine and surrounded by a great enemy army. Think about that for a minute, this has the makings of a really bad day! You have leprosy. You are not allowed in the city, but that’s okay because everyone in the city is starving. But that also means there is nothing between you and a horde of enemy soldiers who are intent upon killing everyone in the city. Out of desperation, the four lepers decide to go surrender to the enemy army — “If they don’t kill us, we’ll eat. If they do kill us, we were going to die anyway.”
When they get to the enemy camp they find out that the enemy has fled — on this side of the story we find out that God scared them all away — and left all their silver, gold, clothes and food behind. So frame the story…we have four lepers at lunch, and it’s a feast. Everything they always wanted they now have. It all belongs to them. So while they are feasting on lunch, they start stockpiling everything of value. Digging holes and hiding it.
But something happened, good news turned to gratitude and gratitude led to sharing their stockpile. In fact the four lunching lepers said, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.” 2 Kings 7:9
I love how God stockpiles good things for hungry lepers locked outside the city. So I’m thinking about my stockpiles. For example money, check out global richlist to see how big your stockpile compares to the rest of the world. But it’s not just money or stuff. If you are a Christian, you have an even better stockpile. We have God. We sing these songs about an amazing God, the creator of the universe, a universe filled with billions of galaxies filled with millions of stars, a God who not only created the milky-
way, but knit u together in your mother’s womb. I’ve got a stockpile. God loves me. Jesus died on the Cross for me, so that I can be forgiven. He gives me a million second chances. I am not defeated by my own stupidity or failures. Not only that, I have people that I love hanging out with… I get to laugh and cry and dance (but only if it embarrasses my daughters) and I get to worship & be stretched and grow… What a stockpile…huh?
And there is more, wow I have the Holy Spirit with me and in me, if I can learn to be quiet, God is even willing to speak to me, when I don’t know how to pray He translates my groans into the language of God. He empowers and guides me and encourages me when I’m down. I have gifts and abilities and opportunities that I’ve been given through no merit of my own, and I get to use them to make a difference in the world. I get to enjoy experiences like hikes on Mt. Nittany, sunsets across the pond at Harvest Fields, and a light snow the day before Thanksgiving. And as I’m enjoying them I get to say thank you to the one who made them. What a stockpile huh?
I have a body that moves (somewhat) & a mind that thinks (sometimes). And, if all that isn’t enough, I don’t have to be afraid to die, because I’ve been promised that death is not it… I go beyond death. I get to hang out with God and Moses and Peter and Esther and Jesus for a great forever with no tears or pain or loneliness or depression. That’s not just four lepers at lunch, that’s GOOD NEWS.
So here’s my challenge.
1) Make a list of your stockpile. Or in traditional language, make a gratitude list, for what are you thankful?
2) Figure out how to share your stockpile — especially on black friday — what a great day to share rather than stockpile more.
Hope your thanksgiving is God-awe-full!