Filling The Barrel

I love it when God blesses us with bright, shining opportunities to help others. God always uses these opportunities to help us become better people as well. Sometimes, however, these opportunities come with difficulties. And they are the ones that challenge us the most.

I had just arrived at the grocery store the other day. My shopping list was long and my cash was short. It seemed like we had run out of everything at once. It looked like there was no way that I would be able to get all the food I needed for my family that week with the money I had. As I walked in the store I noticed a big, blue barrel. On the side was a plea for food donations for the local food bank to help the needy. I glanced inside it. It was completely empty. Apparently, I wasnít the only one struggling to make ends meet that week.

As I walked through the store, though, I couldnít get that barrel out of my mind. With each food item I put in my cart I thought of all the people who couldnít even afford to feed their own children right now. Finally, I picked up some extra boxes of noodles and put them in my cart. I prayed they would fill at least a few empty bellies that week. I knew if I had to I could put back something of my own to make up the difference. I paid for the groceries and had just enough to get them all. I smiled and walked to the barrel with an empty wallet but a full heart. As I dropped the boxes of noodles in the barrel I noticed too that it was slowly starting to fill up. I wasnít the only one who had decided to help the hungry that day.

Every opportunity to help others is a gift from God. Every time we do help others God is helping us as well to become better and more loving people. We are here, after all, to love each other and to help each other. We are here to fill both empty barrels and empty hearts. We are here to live as Godís Children. May we always do so.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2010 ( -- submitted by: Joseph Mazzella ]

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