Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good Gifts

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." - James 1:17

I had never considered until now that it is a discipline to bear in mind that every good gift comes from God. It's a beautiful putting forth of faith. I got up this morning, walked into a kitchen overflowing with people whom I love and who love me, and we ate together delicious food that only a few people in the entire world get to enjoy - and I thought, "All of these things come from God. Every good gift comes from God."

And all of a sudden I realized that, if you look at the world around you in the light of this truth (the truth of the God who does not change with the shifting shadows) everything about you comes to vivid life; it's like God is right there beside you, handing you one gift upon another, until your mind is overloaded by the greatness of His love for you.

It's a discipline to think this way, for our natural inclination is to look at life skeptically, or through a self-centered lens - but if God is truly the giver of all good gifts, than everything good in our lives is from Him, and is only there because He was kind and merciful enough to give it to us. If I am sitting amongst my family of an evening having a quiet conversation, that is a good gift. If I am fixing a meal that few others in the world are able to eat, that is a good gift. If sunshine streams upon the earth to feed all creation, that is a good gift. If rain falls to feed the earth, that is a good gift. If I am able to wash clothes in an hour and a half instead of a whole day, that is a very good gift.

Suddenly God is all around you, handing you beautiful, unasked for, and unlooked for gifts. Beautiful gifts that bless you more than you could ever know. And all to often we are totally unaware of them, and most importantly, unaware of the Giver of them all.



Captain Starch said...

Potent; this is one I will definitely need to chew on for a while.

(I think you missed an "o" at the end of a word in that last sentence. Sorry, watching that I don't miss the proverbial comma when writing computer programs evidently causes me to catch many of these things too... now if only I could find that comma :-)

Anonymous said...

So many little gifts... once you see one, you find them everywhere! And sometimes giving a gift is even more of a gift to yourself!


Briana Mahoney said...

Dear Gretchen!
Those are such wonderful posts. I am so glad you are at it again:).
The good gifts that God gives, seem to become more amazing and precious the more I think on them. You are right in saying that thinking that way is a discipline, but in the exercise of that discipline, we are the ones that receive the benefit. (Isn't that the way with all God's disciplines? :)) Suddenly the world around us isn't taken for granted in a humdrum acceptance. There is nothing like driving up your driveway thinking, "Wow, I really live here?", or getting your breakfast in the morning and being so thankful that you have food and aren't starving. For me it is always a sobering reminder that , "To whom much is given, much is required". God has given us all these good gifts, and it is our duty to be wise, good, and faithful stewards of it all. Thank you for being such a blessing with the gifts you have been given. Your family and music are some of the "good gifts" that God has given to us.
P.S. I am typing this on the library's computer. Our computer still won't allow us to post comments. We are technologically oblivious, so we haven't a clue to what the problem is, just in case you might onder why we are extra slow to comment:).

Katie Mahoney said...

Hi Gretchen!
This is a great post and good thoughts to put into action daily. Those thoughts put you in a thankful mood, and we are commanded to be grateful. It is amazing how our thoughts control the way we feel. God knew that this way of thinking would make us feel happier. We were discussing about the book "Unbroken" and how the way they were thinking contributed to their final end. The one thinking like a pessimist died on the raft, while the one that could see good, survived. Thank you for recommending this book. We all liked it. Your post is such a good example of engrafting the Word of God into our lives that God's blessings may abound.

Jessica Hall said...

So true Gretchen! I love reading your blog posts! You're such a wonderful writer! =D


Amy Barton said...

Thank you Gretchen! This was so beautiful, and what a powerful reminder of the Lord's daily love and goodness in our lives. I printed this out and I am going to be chewing on it!!! :D

Taylor said...

Gretchen, you are very right! It's so easy to see the beauty of the Creator and the created if we just stop and look. Thank you for your posts, you are such a blessing. =)

Glad to see you blogging again!