I wrote this last week…before Seizure Sunday…10 days before I was to have my “independence”.  It was 10 days before I was supposed to have had the “gift” of driving again.”

I was thinking last night about God’s gifts to us.  No, I wasn’t thinking about THE GIFT: the gift of redemption…of salvation…of justification!  I assume that gift too often…I live my life with that as a given.  I don’t always mention that one because I’ve been the recipient of it for so long (almost 60 years!) that I often take it for granted.  It is a gift, not unlike the gift of life that one really can’t take for granted.  It is basic to all the other gifts.

I was thinking about the many gifts God has given me over my life that I take for granted and frequently feel entitled to.  Then, when God removes one of them, I am often like a child having a tantrum.  One gift I haven’t handled well when it was removed for short times, was the gift of good health.  I remember especially when I went through a period of nearly four years when I couldn’t think well nor could I drive.  The combination of difficulty thinking and independence removed was very difficult.  I had not realized how entitled I felt to having an alert mind, being independent and having good health.  All are gifts from God and in His good providence, can be removed at any time. As an American Christian, I so often assume those gifts should be mine.  I take them for granted when I have them and am most upset when I don’t.

At another time in my life, I felt entitled to a child of my own.  Seemed so simple…  such a small thing really.  It is a good desire to want a child to raise for God’s glory.  But nothing seemed to work out right.  First we had a miscarriage, then our nearly full term pregnancy ended up in a stillbirth.  Once I stopped crying, I was angrier than I ever remember being!  God owed us. (I would never have verbalized it that way, but looking back, that was my attitude.) We were getting ready to go overseas as missionaries! We were already in full-time ministry in a local church where more than one teen couple had HAD to get married. (Those were the days before legalized abortion….when the appearance of legitimacy was a more important value in our society.)  Why did He take our child?  She would have been born into a Christian home?  Forty years later I don’t have all the answers on that one.  But God in His good purposes did!  I do know He needed to make some changes in my heart.  I also know that He doesn’t have any magic formulae.  However, a year later, our first living daughter was born.  For some, a child never comes.  Life on earth is not easy.  We live in a fallen world.  The one true thing is that God is by nature good…and true…and loves us.  That doesn’t look the same as our love…for certain!

Over my lifetime, God has had to teach me, often through difficult circumstances, that I am not entitled to anything.  All I have is His; All I am is His.  He knows what is best for me…always.  I don’t say that lightly.  I say that with some temerity.  Every gift He has ever given me could be gone tomorrow.  There is no question that if that happened it would be painful, very painful!  But the most important thing is still Christ!