“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Well, folks, Christmas is over. Soon, Valentine’s Day will lovingly demand that we take down the tree and decorations. Yes, I have stretched it out that long before! 🙂
But overall, it was a beautiful day. Even the gift opening was pleasant this year! I say it like that because I am aware that one day soon my kids will show their ugly side on Christmas morning, when they frown or complain about getting clothes instead of the coolest game out there. But my kids’ faces lit up with EVERYTHING they opened, and seemed genuinely thankful! I know an occasion like that is like spotting a blue whale in the ocean…pretty darn rare.
It got me thinking about my attitude regarding all of the many gifts I’ve received in my life:
1.The gift of praising God through music. It all COMES from Him, and really should always be given BACK to Him.
2. My kids and husband. I will be 100% transparent and admit I am not ALWAYS thankful for them in the way that I should be. Like I was on the day all three of them came into my life. Those were days of fall-on-my-face gratitude to God for entrusting them to me! Where did that go?
3. Some tougher things, but still gifts. Betrayal of loved ones. On those days when my heart was broken over words that a friend said, or DIDN’T SAY, or actions of someone who claims to love me, betrayal felt like a curse and NEVER a gift! But it produced amazing grace and remarkable forgiveness!
4. Loss of loved ones. This is never easy for anybody. But imagine your world without ever having known this person. Surely the loss is heavy and hard, but what a gift it was to have known them! To have loved them!
5. Illnesses and Disablility. I honestly and truly believe that God meant for my stroke to be a GREAT gift! Not just to me, but to everyone I try to love. It is a door that people more easily walk through to get empathy and compassion from me. I know I can’t understand every type of pain, and that often doesn’t really matter to people. Because they know that I at least am on a first-name basis with pain, and sometimes that’s comfort enough. It has also taught me how to depend on Him to literally get me through each and every day, and how to be truly grateful for the air I get to breathe.
The things He gives and the things He takes away from us are always meant to be great gifts. Roads that will help to lead us to at least part of our purpose here on earth.
One thing that has stayed with me is the idea of never wasting pain. Let it do what God meant for it to do! Don’t hide it in the closet or shove it under a rug, because you will have wasted the entire experience and will reap nothing for all the hurt! And I want it to all MATTER. It is ALL a gift from God, the greatest Giver!
And I am so thankful.
What are some of the “gifts” you’ve received, but never really viewed them as genuine gifts from God? Take a minute with me and thank Him for all He’s done with all those “gifts”, and all the things He WILL do with them….and you.