The best gifts I’ve received have been those that were unexpected or completely out of my control. What I mean by that explains a peeve of mine today where increasingly people feel an undue burden with pleasing others with what they give. We want people to like what we give them, but today we stress over how satisfied they will be if our gifts are not to their liking. Our charitableness must bow to lists of buying options or we give gift cards and money so there is no question that one got what he wished for. I’ve fallen into that trap, too. But that practice robs the giver of the joy that comes with presenting a particular item that has first filled their heart for the special one.
I remember that it was always the clothes, accessories, and toys that I would have never chosen that I ended up enjoying the most. They probably weren’t the best of what they were, by my estimation; yet they were far more valuable. They were products of charity, tangible representations of good will shown to me. They were free, too. I didn’t have to do anything to get it all, except receive it.
It’s hard for me to miss the spiritual comparison in this illustration. Anyone living the Christian life must certainly know that it’s about the journey to God, on many levels. I believe that what makes this journey easier is developing a posture of being open to whatever the Lord brings into our lives…yes, his gifts. It is an attitude of freely receiving from his hand and doing so with gratitude, embracing the lessons he highlights.
That won’t always be easy. It requires trust—and I say trust because some of the Lord’s gifts can be hard to like initially—but trust nevertheless. Trust to know that he cares for us and only seeks our good. Trust to understand that he will work in the highs and lows of our daily lives to test the good in us. Trust to believe that he is dynamically and providentially involved in our care, rewarding our obedience and faithfulness with perfected character of inestimable value.
This approach is nothing less than developing spiritual discipline and allowing God to present us with what fills his heart for us and humbling ourselves to be honored by what he feels is necessary for our betterment. The sacrament of it all is glimpsing and being transformed by his perspective about us. That’s profound. He with his gifts teaches us what he thinks about us as his creation and about his purpose with us.
So when the Lord gives you a gift, just take it. He considers you worthy to receive it.