Just as we give one another gifts to express our love and/or appreciation, God gives us gifts to share his love for us. When someone we love gives us a gift, thoughtfully chosen and carefully wrapped, it brings us joy. We may look at the shape of the box, weigh it in our hands, shake it and listen for clues as to what it might be. We remove the wrapping—sometimes slowly and carefully, sometimes exuberantly—and take out the gift. We touch it, feel it, smell it, admire it and cherish it. If it is something to wear, we hold it up, maybe even try it on. If it is a book, we carefully open it, turn the first few pages, read any note that may have been written inside, look at the table of contents. If it is something we can use—a tool or an appliance, art or craft supplies—we take it out and hold it, think about what we can do with it, create with it, how we can use it to express ourselves. We thank the giver and express our appreciation for their thoughtfulness. Both giver and receiver feel joy when a gift is given in love and received with gratitude.
How much enjoyment would we feel if we just admired the wrapped gift and never opened it? How would the giver feel? What if we opened it and thanked the giver but never used it? What if we didn’t even notice the giver standing before us, gift in hand?
God bestows upon us blessings and gifts every day. Some gifts are small and easy to miss in the busyness of life. A beautiful sunset, a call from an old friend, a happy memory, for example. Some are important aspects of who we are, but could be taken for granted, such as the gift of compassion, or discernment, or having someone in our lives who loves us unconditionally. Do we receive and appreciate His gifts or leave them lying by the wayside? Do we open them with eagerness and awe, think about how we can use them, explore them, try them on, touch, feel, smell, admire and cherish them?
How much joy do we forego when, because we are distracted, or in a mistaken belief that we are somehow not worthy to receive them, we miss the blessings and gifts, large and small, our loving Father pours out upon us each day? What could we create; how could we bless the lives of others if we would receive and embrace the gifts He has so carefully chosen for us?
- What are your gifts? If you don’t know, how can you find out?
- What will you do to discover and embrace them?
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