How I receive gifts in life has a lot to say about my heart attitude towards God as the ultimate giver.
One evening as I was settling into our couch for an hour of relaxing with my husband, I noticed a box of brightly colored pencils waiting for me. Neither my husband nor I are frequent gift givers. When I do get a gift from him it is always filled with love and thoughtfulness.
But instead of appreciating this gift from my husband, discontentment filled my mind. Didn’t he get the message? I had been hinting for several weeks that some springy greens and pinks would be nice to have. What am I supposed to do with these neon colors? They aren’t even the brand I like.
“Don’t you like them?” my husband asked. I mumbled a half-hearted response, immediately regretting it.
Unfortunately, this is not the only time I have responded wrongly to a gift. I often have the same attitude about God’s perfect gifts to me.
Our Love Story
The verse James 1:17 was especially significant to me when God brought my husband and my paths together. I even had part of it inscribed on his wedding band.
Like many young adults, I pursued a college education, hoping that I would find a mate while I was there. Four years turned into six as I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and I returned home in May 2013 with only a few dates to my name. My sister got married that summer, accentuating the loneliness of my singlehood.
That summer I struggled to surrender my life to God. I thought marriage would bring me the ultimate satisfaction. And I couldn’t understand why God was holding it back from me. God used books, podcasts, and people from my new church to help me realize that I would always have unmet desires this side of heaven. The only true satisfaction I could have on earth was in my relationship with God and following His will for my life.
That Fall, my family had to move from where we had lived for fifteen years and find another house, all within about a month. Between the move and another ministry opportunity the Lord had placed in my life, I was too busy to dwell on my singlehood. By the time we settled into our new house, I was excited to pursue what the Lord had for me in my new life stage.
Then December came, bringing one of the snowiest winters I have ever seen to our area. One of my missionary friends who was on deputation had posted on Facebook about a snowstorm. Realizing that she wasn’t too far from where I lived, I messaged her. As we chatted, the name of the town I had moved to came up in the conversation. She mentioned that she had visited a church there recently.
Then, the unexpected happened. She also mentioned that a single friend of her husband had just moved to the same town in the spring.
Long story short, the missionary couple gave my information to my future husband. We met in person at my sister’s house shortly before Christmas, and were married seven months later.
As we were getting to know each other the Lord gave us crystal-clear direction that this was his will for our lives, and I have never doubted it since. But I often wonder why the Lord included certain colors in my pencil box of marriage. He knew my ideals. Doesn’t he want to give me the desires of my heart?
Although I wouldn’t have bought neon colored pencils for myself, they have added unexpected vibrancy to the pages of my coloring books. The more I practice incorporating the colors into my color schemes, the greater delight I take in using them.
The longer I am married, the more I see the value of the unexpected aspects of our relationship. Although I still struggle to recognize God’s gifts in my life, I am learning that each day is an opportunity to explore and gain a new appreciation.
As we enter our third year of marriage, I want to change my focus. I had been viewing a good marriage as a lofty long-term goal. But starting now, I want to appreciate every day we have together as a gift from God.
From Reflective Homemaker
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