Posted by: glorifyhim1 | December 13, 2010

Simple Gifts

My heart skipped a beat Sunday morning as I looked out upon the white snow blanketing our yard. Just as predicted, our little corner of the world had been transformed during the night with a beautiful, velvety blanket of snow. I was reminded of verses in Psalm 147.

“He sends out His command to the earth;

His word runs very swiftly;

He gives snow like wool;

He scatters the frost like ashes;

He casts out His hail like morsels;

Who can stand before His cold?

He sends out His word and melts them;

He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.”

(Psalm 147:15-18)

This psalm concludes: “Praise the Lord!”

Standing at my kitchen sink, mixing blueberry pancakes, and looking at the beautiful snow outside the window, it was easy for me to rejoice and praise the Lord for the simple gift of snow. The fresh snowfall meant an unhurried morning, a relaxing day, and more precious time with family.

Yet, as much as I like snow, I know there have been times when it didn’t feel like a blessing. Instead of a calm, relaxing day, it meant sitting in traffic on a slick, icy road, trying to get home from work. Sometimes it meant dealing with no electricity and carrying wood to fuel the wood stove in order to keep warm. Even on this particular morning, my first thought was that our church services would probably be cancelled. That meant no Sunday School with only one more Sunday before Christmas. I thought about all the preschool  activities, books, songs, that could not possibly be jammed into just one Sunday! At such times, perhaps snow doesn’t feel like a blessing.

Isn’t this the way we feel about a lot of God’s gifts? We are okay as long as His gifts do not interrupt our plans or schedules. On the other hand, we’re quick to react if His gifts get in our way. Yet James 1:17 reminds us: “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.” Actually, how we feel about the “gifts” in our lives depends more on our view of God than on the gift.

If I truly believe that God is good and that He loves and cares for me, I’m going to call on Him while I’m sitting on that ice-covered road rather than curse Him for my being in this predicament. While I may not know why I’m in a particular situation, if I truly believe in the God the Bible tells us about, I’m going to trust Him even in those difficult times.

The Bible tells us in Romans 11:33-36: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?’ For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.” Our God is above and beyond all human understanding. He is an all-knowing, transcendent God who rises above all human intellect and reason.

But why? Why would I place my trust in a God I cannot understand or explain? While I cannot answer this question for everyone, I can explain why I trust Him. This may sound strange, but I can trust God because of His simple gifts to me. What are those gifts?

  • The Gift of Salvation – God loved me enough to send His only Son to save me from my sin. He did for me what I couldn’t do for myself – not because I was good enough or smart enough, not because I deserved it, but because He loved me (1 John 4:10).

 

  • The Gift of the Holy Spirit – When God saved me, He gave me the gift of His Spirit to live within me (Romans 8:11), to guide me (John 16:13), to give me understanding (1 Corinthians 2:12-13), to help me (John 14:16-26), to confirm my relationship with God (Romans 8:16), to give me comfort (Acts (9:31) and joy (Romans 14:17). The Holy Spirit works in me to bear fruit and minister to others (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:3-11). It is this Spirit that leads me, teaches me, and helps me to become more Christ like. He convicts me when I fail, but He picks me up and helps me try again. The Christian life is not a list of do’s and don’t’s – it is the Holy Spirit working in me as I yield my life to Him.

 

  • The Gift of Eternal Life – God also gives me the gift of eternal life from the moment I receive His gift of salvation (Romans 6:23). It is not something I have to work for or earn. I know that at the moment I die physically here on earth, I will be carried into His presence.

 

  • The Gift of Simple Joys – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 states: “I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor – it is the gift of God.” God doesn’t just save us to die. He saves us to live. Simple joys we have on earth such as family, friends, a good job, a beautiful sunset, and even snow are all gifts from a loving God.

 

These gifts may not seem like simple gifts. Our salvation cost Jesus His life. The work of the Holy Spirit and the concept of eternal life defy human understanding. Even simple joys that bless our hearts beyond measure are precious and priceless. But they are all free to us. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32) The only thing we have to do to receive these gifts from God is to simply accept them. How I thank God for simple gifts!

 

  

 

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