My Dad's birthday was on Friday. He would have been 74.
I thought about him on his birthday, because he loved his birthday.
More pointedly, he loved presents.
He loved getting presents, but he also loved giving presents.
I had a box in a the attic for a long time filled with presents from my dad. A porcelain cat filled with bath salts. Assorted soaps. Stuffed animals. Figurines. The reason these presents were packed in the attic and not gracing the household adornment is because they were unpleasant to me. You see, my dad bought presents because he liked them. He didn't want to know what I wanted. If I put in a suggestion he got irritated.
Now, I have a sense of humor and could usually get a good laugh out of what he picked out for me, but that was all it was really worth.
I woke in the night last night, thinking of this, lamenting what was. And I started to realize that I think of God as a giver in the same vein I think of my dad. Meaning, I think of God giving me what He wants to give me, and not caring at all how I feel about it.
Not giving me what I really want because He doesn't really care what I want.
I picture Him, getting irritated at my prayers, as if He doesn't want my suggestions.
And sometimes, I want to take the whole lot of what He's given me and stick it in the attic!
Laying in my bed last night, the silence and the dark and the past all pressing down on me, I knew.
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord..."
God's gift is the sacrificial love of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you..."
God's gift is the joy of eternal life.
"Plans to give you hope and a future..."
God's gift is the yearning in my heart to know Him intimately.
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you..."
God's gift is sight to my blind eyes.
"You will seek me and find me..."
God's gift is adoption.
"When you seek me with all your heart."
It was as if in a moment I realized that what I had always wanted was a porcelain cat filled with bath salts! I had one! It was in the attic!
In my heart I embraced the gifts that God, in His mercy, has given me.
I should stop making inventory of my own gifts,
and ask Him what He'd like from me.
Because now that I think about it,
I never saw some of those gifts that I gave my dad,
around the house....