I’ve given some pretty great gifts to my kids over the years. It’s always been a joy to see their faces light up when they see what’s under the wrapping paper or inside the box. But there have also been times it wasn’t hard for them to hide their disappointment. The gift wasn’t what they expected and/or wanted.
Isn’t that how life sometimes works? Moments of sheer joy, but other times not so much. It’s hard to see the challenges in life as gifts. And yet, in raising children it’s really a package deal—you get a whole lot of good stuff, mixed in with some things you’d rather give back.
Finding the good in a gift you never asked for isn’t easy. But gratitude should never really be based on the gift itself. It’s acknowledging the giver of the gift.
God is a giver in many different ways. His blessings (which we most like to receive) are one example. But He also gives grace, patience, strength, love, faith and a variety of other gifts when faced with trials and difficulties. We tend to only see the bad and say, “God, I don’t want this.” If we could, we’d return it. But God wants us to embrace the challenges, knowing there is more to receive beyond our circumstances.
Sometimes we have to look beyond the ugly brown paper to appreciate the gift inside. This year has been a testimony in my family to all of which I’ve described. Many circumstances I didn’t ask for or want, but I’ve ended up receiving so much more than I’d ever imagined—GOOD gifts from God. Strength and a deeper relationship with Him are just a couple of examples.
I don’t know what your family has dealt with this past year. Maybe it was filled with good things and it felt like every package delivered was a hit. But maybe it was the very opposite and you’re feeling like 2014 was a gyp when it comes to what you received. Regardless, don’t lose sight of the greatest gift giver. Matthew 7:11, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
© 2014, Stephanie Romero