“Which of you, if your son asks for bread,
will give him a snake?
know how to give good gifts to your children,
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