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Advent: Gifts

 12-23-11 Gifts

A group of us were discussing how grace is like a gift. One person in the group noted that they really couldn’t understand how anyone could turn down a gift. Another said they didn’t think people refused gifts. I had to unfortunately disagree.

The first example that came to mind was my grandson. While he was yet a toddler, my husband began the daily habit of giving him a Matchbox car. Asher loved this. It was like a game to him. As time progressed, Nelson tried to introduce other gifts into the mix and they were met with a fit of tears and protests. Now, we may not stomp our feet when we don’t receive what we want or expect from God, but take inventory for a moment. Have you ever had your own spiritual tantrum or pouting party when God didn’t come through like you wanted?

The other thing I’ve noticed is from adults. This probably stands out more to me because I have in recent years been more on the receiving end of people’s generosity. I have witnessed folks trying to help others and those would be recipients turning down the gift when it wasn’t exactly what they wanted/needed. They were offered a couch or bed and the gift was declined because it wasn’t the right size, style, or color.

Perhaps I’m thinking more about gifts because of the season we’re in now,or because the holidaysforce us to focus on thankfulness and God’s great gift to us. Perhaps, but really, for me it’s  just that I’m seeing every day as a gift. I have truly taken to heart the words of Jeremiah in Lamentations 3: The steadfast love the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (vs. 22-23)

I’m not foolish or naive enough to believe that everything that comes my way is going to feel good or be exactly the thing I want or the way I want it. But like Paul in his words to the Roman church so long ago: he (God) works everything for good. The best news in that is that I don’t have to see that right now. I just have to know it and trust it. He really is the giver of all good gifts.

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