I just got home from Wal-Mart where my wife and I bought a new 18-speed bicycle for my daughter.
It is her eleventh birthday today. We did not tell her what we were planning on buying her until we got near the bicycle section.
She was very excited! I was excited too! In fact, I was looking forward to giving this gift to her for the past several days.
Upon driving home, the thought occurred to me that if I enjoyed giving a gift to my daughter, whom I love so much, how much more our Heavenly Father enjoys giving gifts to us.
Now you have to admit, when you think of a gift, we picture brightly covered wrapping paper. There is anticipation in knowing that you will be receiving something that a person has decided to give to you. Most of the time, the gift is quite nice and thoughtful. Sometimes the gift can be very special like a new 18-speed bicycle.
But our God is not limited to gifts that bring us pleasure. Sometimes he gives us gifts that we least expect. Sometimes he gives us gifts that we instantly want to return back. The loss of a job. Disease. Injury. The loss of a loved one. Profound disappointment or hurt.
Those don’t sound like gifts, do they? Yet, the Lord sometimes allows circumstances in our lives as gifts because He knows it will be best for us. He also knows that someday we will thank Him immensely.
After the intense pain and suffering is gone, we are given that gift of hindsight in seeing how much we have grown from that experience. We have matured in the faith. We have grown closer to the Lord by recognizing how much we need to rely on Him.
The results? We grow better fruit. Fruit that will last.
Why? Because we have grafted ourselves deeper into the Vine which is Christ.
A result of growing fruit is being a better witness for Him. Through experience, we can share from the heart to ears that know we truly understand. Through faith, we trust that God does indeed love us, cares for us and supplies our every need. Furthermore, because he is our Heavenly Father, he knows how to give good gifts. Gifts that will last forever because it has made our faith stronger.