What if there was a corner convenience store that was fully stocked but did not allow anyone to come and purchase items off the shelves? What would happen to those items? The milk would sour. The chips would become stale. The loaves of bread would become moldy. Sodas would go flat. Even hearty canned goods would eventually expire and become useless.
The Lord showed me a picture of myself as a convenience store. The items on my internal shelves were all items that He had sent to me: that insight to a verse of scripture; that new idea for next week’s bible study; that word of encouragement at just the right time; that timely message from Pastor last week; that great quote I read yesterday; that song of comfort at just the right moment on K-LOVE this morning. But these things He sent to me weren’t just for me. If He pours out His love and kindness to me and I just tuck it away in my store and lock the doors, what good is it? It will just sit upon my internal shelves and become of no value. A convenience store is not a storage locker! Inventory is perishable and is intended to be distributed to others.
God showed me more in that our local congregations are like our supermarkets. We need to visit and get stocked up for the week ahead. And those weekend ladies’ conferences are examples of the big warehouse stores like Sam’s or Costco. You go and get a big load of goodies from our Heavenly Distributor and it might take you a good month or more to use that whole 48-gallon jar of Encouragement & Faith, but it’s a great bargain!
But we can’t always go to a conference every month. And sometimes we even run out of what we need before our weekly visit to church. And that’s where our convenience store sisters come in. Sometimes we need to run into our sisters for that cup of encouragement to start our day. Or we need to drop by and grab a loaf of the Word and a gallon of Understanding on the way home. But what if when we go by, the doors are locked to each other? That’s not the way God created us to operate.
He blesses us to be a blessing to others. So if you’ve been encouraged or uplifted, pass it along to your down-trodden sister in need. If the Lord has shown you a scripture applied in a new way in your life, pass it along to your sister that’s seeking His Word maybe for the very first time. If the Lord has given the gift of wisdom and discernment, pass it along to that sister trying to make a tough decision. If you’ve been comforted by a song, a Word or another sister, share that with your sister as she struggles with unimaginable grief and loss (2 Corinthians 1:4). Because everything the Lord has given you is not necessarily for just you. And that inventory will rot on your internal shelves and be of no use or value if you try to keep it to yourself.
And never fear when you share what our Heavenly Father has given you. He will always, ALWAYS send more. He likes to keep His convenience store daughters well-stocked. And here’s the really cool part…He knows ahead of time, what to send. He knows who will need exactly what He’s giving you. So enjoy what God sends your way, then swing open your doors and don’t let that inventory rot!
“ Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights…” James 1:17