Tuesday, June 19, 2012


On our trip to the Gunflint Trail, we really didn’t expect to see a moose, although we hoped we would. Then on our last night there, during a backroad drive at dusk, there stood a moose at the side of the road. The sight topped our trip like creamy frosting on a cake.


Special Surprise Gifts

My sister came home from kindergarten one day and told our mom, “I made you a special Christmas present but I won’t tell you what it is.” The next day she came home with another message. “I made you a special candy dish but I won’t tell you who it’s for.” Mom chuckled to herself and pretended her daughter’s “secret” gift would be a surprise.

Unlike Mom’s expected gift, sometimes we’re given unexpected gifts: a ring hidden by a man for his intended bride, wrapped gifts that kids manage to leave unopened until the morning of Christmas, a text message that reads, LY (love you).

Special, surprise gifts are nice. God is the ultimate gift-giver. He often surprises us with special blessings, such as an unexpected rainbow or a special insight into His Word—something we’ve read over and over, yet a later reading brings an Aha moment. Other times He reassures us of His love through something we heard, read, or remembered. He loves to bring joy into our lives, even as my sister did with her gift to our mother.

God delivers us from evil, temptations, and bad habits, too, when we ask. We shouldn’t be surprised by any of His gifts, but sometimes our unbelief brings shock when we discover He answered our prayer. Then our faith rises a notch.

God’s special gifts should always bring gratitude and joy that compels us to share them with others. Jesus shared His gifts with everyone He met. His healing love touched—and still touches—untold millions. Even the undeserving. Even doubters like Thomas, hot-headed and impulsive Peter, and fearful followers like us.   

He delivers to us incomparable love, immeasurable joy, and peace beyond understanding. He also provides for our needs, reconciles us to Himself and others, and forgives us our sins. Once we grasp the full meaning of His love, we naturally want to share it with our neighbors—even to the exclusion of our own desires.

A lawyer asked Jesus a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:36-39) 

Lord, thank You for giving us Your special gifts—hope for eternal life with You and blessings during our earthly life. In Jesus’ name, amen..

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