The other morning I received the most wonderful gift! And it was just what I needed! Have you ever gotten a present from someone you love and it seemed to be perfect? It shows that the person really knows you and cares deeply about the things you care about. It’s quite touching when you see them experience just as much joy as you have as they watch you open up the gift they’ve chosen specifically for you. Their excitement seems to overflow as they know how happy the gift will make you feel.
My gift was a surprise, actually. It wasn’t for a special occasion or anything. It was just an ordinary day. That made it even more wonderful. I guess by now you’re wondering what the present was and who gave me such a perfect gift? Well, it was from my Father. I’m sure you noticed the capital “F”, meaning it was from my Heavenly Father. In a moment I’ll tell you what He gave me.
I must be pretty dense, I think. Because I know that God gives me gifts and blessings all the time. He has given me a loving spouse, the miracle of children, terrific friends, a home in which to live, food on the table, etc. The list is endless. Why, then, was this such a surprise to me to receive one more gift? I think I had some sort of an epiphany about it and I want to share it with you.
That particular morning I was swamped with things to do. I had lots of errands to run, phone calls to make, laundry a mile high, bills to write, and so forth. But I had this nagging in my spirit to stop my running around and take time out to pray. I was trying to drown out the voice that was telling me to slow down, and have some time with the Lord. I finally gave in and sat down with no particular prayer in mind. I just quieted myself and waited. Soon a great peace and calm came over me and my body began to relax. My heart stopped pounding and my breathing slowed. I didn’t speak any words but I felt God’s presence with me. I stayed in this place for quite some time and didn’t want to leave. I felt so comfortable and very loved. I wondered to myself why I had fought this call to prayer. Why would I ever deny myself this incredible time of inner joy and peace? That was the gift I received that day. With all that I had planned to do, He knew I needed to be strengthened with these gifts.
The following day I remembered what had happened and I went to prayer once again, this time without a fight. He was teaching me, after so many years, that each day He has something new for me, a new gift, something perfect for me for that day. For He alone knows exactly what I will have to face, what I will come up against, where the challenges will be. It reminds me of a beautiful Scripture from Lamentations, chapter 3 vs. 22-23 that says, “The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, His mercies are not spent; They are renewed each morning, so great is His faithfulness.” God never tires of blessing His children. He loves to do it. But in order to receive the blessings, I need to open my hands and my heart.
God has a special gift waiting for each one of us every day. Perhaps some days the gift may be wrapped in the shape of a cross. We may not want to open that one because we are afraid. But when I think back to those times in my life when I received a cross, He always included strength, grace, courage and wisdom to go along with it. Special companions were included as well to lighten my load.
What was your gift today? Think about it. We are all so consumed with many things to do. Our lives are jam- packed with, well, life. It’s easy to grow anxious, worried, fearful, and confused with all that needs to be done. We drop into bed at night totally exhausted. I don’t think that’s what God meant when He said He wanted us to live the abundant life. He meant, I think, that He wants to fill us with His presence to overflowing. He understands us like no one else can. He knows our many needs and longings. He knows the emptiness and loneliness we feel sometimes. That’s why he says, “Come unto Me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will give you rest.” Rest is a gift.
What is it that you need? He knows what it is even before you even ask. So just take a little time to be in His presence. I promise that He will surprise you with something special.