Gary and I were sitting beside our decorated tree one night before Christmas. We were not alone for long, as is so often the case. Aaron soon joined us. He was, of course, drawn to the presents under the tree. His observant eyes had seen his name on a gift!
“Look!!” he exclaimed, “this gift has my name on it!”
His childish delight made us smile.
His childish delight is, in fact, a gift to us.
Yet there are other aspects of who Aaron is that we would not describe as a gift. Maybe more as a burden? An annoyance?
We know that God gave us Aaron, and he is indeed the whole package. It’s just that some of the contents of that package are not what we would have hand-picked.
Am I being too blunt here?
This reality of God’s gifts to me carries over into every area of my life. Gary and I had been married for five years before we had a baby…Aaron. We prayed for a baby. God gave us Aaron.
Do I really trust God in this answer to our prayers?
So many times in my life I have prayed over some matter…some decision…some issue. But sometimes God’s answers are not what I would have chosen.
Oh, they may seem wonderful at the time but later the gift might turn sour.
How easy it is, then, to play the guessing game.
Maybe if we had moved there instead of here.
Maybe if we had joined that church instead of this church.
Maybe if we had raised our children in this way instead of that way.
Yet if I am walking with God in obedience, and I am praying for direction, I must trust that the way He leads is best and for a reason.
Good reasons, always.
But not always easy.
I must reach out and take God’s gifts to me with trust.
The children of Israel knew that God led them miraculously out of Egypt. No one could doubt that. But then it wasn’t long before they disobeyed God. Even the manna God provided to them became a source of discontentment and complaint.
Soon the Israelites were comparing their present lot with the life they used to have in Egypt, creating more unhappiness and grumbling.
I do that, too. I pray…I take God’s gift of an answer…and then when things get hard, I fight the tendency to complain and to compare.
If only I had what they have…lived where they live…got to go where they go…blah, blah, blah.
Such a trap!
This morning, I read the answer to this dilemma in my life:
“Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God by magnified.’ (Psalm 70:4)
I must keep my eyes on God in every area of my life.
My gladness and contentment is in God alone, not in the events of my life – good or not so good.
So, when I reach out and take God’s gifts to me, may I not focus on the gift so much but instead may my eyes stay on the Giver of the gifts.
That’s easy to do when the gift is fun and happy.
But I must understand that some gifts are not fun and happy. Some are hard and sad.
Yet on each gift, I see the tag.
Thank you, God, that every gift from You is good and perfect. You didn’t say they were easy and fun.
Help me to trust You.
“Look! This gift has my name on it!!”