Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Some come in brightly wrapped paper, some in a plastic bag and yet others appear on my cluttered desk without any presentation.
They are big like the new car my husband parked in our garage as a surprise back in our early years of marriage. Those were scarce years financially and my beater was not only ugly but becoming unreliable. I wanted a “cute” car and he searched until he found one we could afford- it was even purple!
Some gifts have no monetary value such as the dandelion tops squeezed in the dimpled grasp of my toddlers fists, his blue eyes and grin melting my heart. The dozens of colorful drawings with the words “I love you vary much Mama” from my sweet daughter are expressions of her unconditional love for me. One of my other favorites is the birthday breakfasts my kids make for me every year. Usually my husband is away working so they conspire together and I get fruit salad, very sweet coffee, and cold toast with more jam than bread.
Some gifts are expected like the flowers my husband dutifully buys every year for our anniversary. What makes me smile, however, is that he never buys the traditional dozen of red roses. He knows my favorite flower is daisies so in the dead of January I receive a bouquet of daisies and roses in a field of baby’s breath and ferns.
I could go on and on, but that may become boring. What I’d like to think about is gifts that God sends us. I don’t mean spiritual gifts or revelations, which should be sought after, of course, but little blessings God sends us because he understands our hearts and wishes to express His love for us.
I believe these gifts come in the form of a friend knocking on my door with my favorite coffee in hand or the vibrant rainbow that stretched from one end of the corn field to the other, decorating the gray sky as the sun attempted to break through the rain.
which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him. Matthew 7:9-11
One such gift came in the form of an orchid. I love flowers of all kinds. I know it sounds silly, but they make me happy. The kids and I were studying a book on the rain forest and were looking at pictures of plants, including orchids. I mentioned that I like orchids and should buy one for the house. Less than a week later, when I was having a particularly dark day, a friend shows up, unannounced, with an orchid. She couldn’t possibly have known that I wanted one. I’m sure I’ve never mentioned it before, but God heard me.
This also happened with mum plants. I purchased a large round mum which was covered in purple blooms to decorate my baby girl’s grave. I watered it faithfully and plucked the dead flowers off while telling her about our day. Each time I mentioned that I would like to get one for the house also. God was the only one listening to my ramblings. Not one, but two friends showed up with beautiful mums at the house. There is no doubt these came from God.
So, why does God give us gifts? He loves us. Yes, but even more than that I think He understands us. He created these hearts of ours. It was not originally meant for them to endure the pain that we experience in this fallen world. He surrounds us with strength to encourage us forward, He showers us with spiritual blessings to help us to focus on Heaven, and He sends me flowers to lighten my sadness.