Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Good Gift-Giving

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread,
will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish,
will give him a snake?

If you, then, though you are evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven
give good gifts to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:9-11

As the midnight hour neared, I layed there, numb - - all but for the ice filled glass of water from which I occasionally sipped.   I don't know if ever there was a night so dark, or so bitterly bereft.  Even my imagination had parted company with me.  In it's stead was a blank chasm.  I thought surely it would swallow me up forever and ever.  I was neither afraid or unafraid.  I'd lost the sensibilities to even care.

Sound familiar?  I know it does.  Many of you are facing giants or alpine peaks the likes of which even the Swiss Alps cannot compare.  Some, both.  Grief is no respecter of persons.

The scriptures I've bookended here did me little good then.  I'm not exactly proud to admit that, but honestly ... standing on that numbing precipice required whatever was left of me.  The fact is, I could stare for long hours at God's word; His promises.  Even they seemed for someone other than me at that time.

When words, and certainly when prayers landed with a thump on my soul the very thought of gifts, or lots, or portions could not have been further from my expectations. 

That night and those days were long ago, though today they seem strangely recent as I muse through their memory.  I can look upon these bookended promises and see how truly good is the Gift Giver; how attendant was He in the chill of those life-draining moments.  Things I never dreamed possible, and then some ... well, they've become my lot, and my portion.

I can never again look at a chasm, or a mountain - or even sip on a glass of ice water - without knowing the story is yet untold, or only half-told.  I can never again look at anything without knowing a good gift is packaged & ready for delivery if I'll but wait upon the Lord.  The Good Gift Giver has yet to fail.

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16:2, 5-8

God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Rebecca said...

I'm very thankful for this reminder! Some days even the molehills feel like mountains!

Loren said...

Oh Kathleen....Your honesty in sharing your heart speaks volumes! I know in my situations it seems that it is almost always the times in which I was at my lowest, when I could not see nor feel God, let alone believe HE was there and I would experience HIS gifts somewhere along that particular journey. But, with God the timing is never my own, the break through is not how I envisioned, nor is the Gift wrapped so beautifully as I thought it would be. But it is out of that pain, that deep pain that HE uses every single way possible to help others and also remind me of HIS ways! His love! His GLORY!!

Just as you have shared here.....Bless you my dear friend! I love you!

RCUBEs said...

Reading my past journals, those always had shown how He truly was there, going with me through all the trials I faced. And now, because of His wonderful promises and ever so true, I am not afraid only because I know that He is always faithful...God bless you sister...And I'm grateful for bros/sisters in His Holy Name He gave me, one of His best gifts, who all readily lift each other up in prayers. Thank you sister. Keeping you in mine...

Peggy said...

A good reminder today and everyday. Thanks. It's good to see grandmas on here. So much of the blogger world is young.

Rita said...

Those paths seem so steep at times, but He is always there even when we can't "feel" Him. He said He would never leave us nor forsake us. How very wonderful to know. Great post today. Your post are always so heart felt!

skoots1mom said...

i was drug over a ledge yesterday...it is hard when you find yourself in a hard place. wanting it to be better, He is my only rescue. thanks for the reminder on this recovering day

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

I understand my friend ... I have had a few of those nights in the last year.
God is faithful ... HE is the best giver.
Praying for you.
Blessings and hugs,

Just a little something from Judy said...

Together we can look back and see for absolute certain that He never did leave us or forsake us. The quote you shared at the end says it perfectly, that God's gifts far surpass anything gift we as humans can ever come up with. Some of my darkest moments may someday shine the brightest as I look back over my life. Keep sharing your heart. It blesses my heart every time you do.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You have written my heart... I've stood there as well. I couldn't have expressed it more adequately, Sassy.

Thank God for bookends, for beginnings and endings that solidify the carnage in between.


Beth E. said...

Thank you, Kathleen. This post feels like a much-needed hug.

Hugging you right back...

Sonja said...

oh so well said my friend!... 'I was young, but now I am old and never have I failed to see the hand of the Lord in the land of the living.;... that verse takes on new meaning year by year.

Beautiful sharing Kathleen.

LisaShaw said...

I don't think there is anything I can say that the ladies above have not already said. Thank you for sharing with a transparent and encouraging heart. I love you and sending hugs to you today!

beBOLDjen said...

I really enjoyed this post. Thankfully through my relatively short years I've been the happy recipient of many good gifts. God's gracious track record in my past leaves me feeling hopeful for my future as I await the fulfillment of the good things He has in store. Thanks for the reminder today.

Patrina's Pencil said...

I so identified with your first paragraph. EXACTLY! it is a very real remembrance...but God somehow changes all of that and we live to remember how He was right there in the midst of all of that - even though we can't feel His presence. He is there!

Reminds me of the saying - or song

When you don't see His hand, Trust His heart. I'm learning to trust His heart with ALL of my heart.

Patrina <")>><

Ron J. Geezer said...

I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Even if they kill me.

Daniel 3:16-18

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Yes, and as my daughter informed me recently, "Mom, it is our family testimony." The part she was speaking of sent me to the edge of questioning why and now she the victim was telling me that it was "our testimony"...God's grace, God's restoration, God's plan for our lives.
Thanks for putting it into such wonderful words.

Peggy said...

I was reading your profile. I also have been married 40 years. I have 2 daughters and six grandchildren. Aren't they wonderful? I know I've been wildly blessed by God, as have you. Thanks for stopping by my post yesterday and leaving the "sunny" verses.

Mind Movies 2.1 said...

This is very wonderful. It's so nice that once in a while, we get reminded that with God's hands, we're safe.