"No gift unrecognized as coming from God is at its own best... when in all gifts we find Him, then in Him we shall find all things."
~ George MacDonald~
I love giving gifts. I love finding the *perfect* gift for someone especially when it is serendipity since shopping is not my thing. I love stitching a pattern for someone that I know they will love. I love wrapping it with care and lots of ribbons and I love, love, love the joy I get when someone opens up the gift. I love gift giving. Some of my friends say that I am, well gifted, at gift giving.
But it hasn't always been that way. There was a time when I faced with dread any occassion that required a gift. So, what changed? I did. My reason for giving gifts changed. I stopped looking at giving gifts as an obligation and began to see it as a privilege. I began to see that giving gifts was sharing a part of what God gave me with others. I began to realize that giving a material gift from my heart was giving a part of myself and my God to another person. And in that change joy of sharing took over.
The gifts may have been the same. But the attitude they were given with changed. And therefore the giver of the gift was changed. And I've come to realize that it is me, the giver of the gift, who must first recognize that it comes from God for it to be at its best.
The receiver may not even know God yet and therefore cannot begin to fathom to the true breadth of the gift. I think of a family member who gets angry when we give him a gift--each year saying don't give me anything else. Not yet a Christian, he only sees the obligation and not the gift. My husband and I discuss, should we stop? But we feel that gift giving is one of the few ways we can share our heart with this person. So *we* keep giving, praying with each gift he'll see the heart behind the gift not the gift itself. The receiver may not want to see God. I think of a dear friend for whom I stitched a one-of-a-kind creation. When she cut me out of her life because of the reflection of Christ that she no longer wanted to see, she tossed it in the garbage. She totally understood that a gift was a from God and could not have it in her life. I pray for her that she will come to understand you can throw away the gift, but you can't throw away the God who gives the gift.
So, I keep giving gifts. Because God has shown me that giving gifts is an extension of giving Him. I pray as I affix those pretty bows to gifts that the presentation will bring beauty into their life. I pray that the gift inside will encourage the receiver. But most of all, I pray that they will see my God, the giver of all good things, in the person who gave them the gift. And then I sit back and allow God to give me the joy that comes from sharing.
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