Saturday, September 4, 2010

Giving Gifts

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 7:11) 

Some people are great gift givers. Others really struggle to find just the right thing. Then there are those who just pick something without much regard for the recipient. I have a friend who is a great gift giver. She has such a heart for others and is always paying attention to what the people around her need and enjoy. I am always delighted by the gifts I receive from her and awed by her ability to select just the perfect thing for me. Gift giving is not one of the areas in which I excel. I believe some people are just gifted in gifting. I try hard, but it is certainly not something that comes naturally to me. I do enjoy the "ah-ha!" moment when I find something I feel will be enjoyed by someone I love.

Tying into the last blog about gratitude -have you realized how much God has given you? Have you thought about that this week? Have you tried to have an attitude of gratitude? We humans are flawed and sinful and we are capable, with thought and effort, of providing wonderful gifts. How much more amazing are the gifts of one who is holy and perfect?

When I was growing up we had a large weeping willow tree. The willow tree was one of my favorite places to hang out. It had a large low, horizontal branch that I could climb up and sit upon and the weeping branches were low enough to reach the ground. I could sit up in that tree and read or play and no one even knew I was up there. It was like a secret hideaway.

As an adult, I have always desired to have a weeping willow tree of my own. We have never managed to purchase and plant one. My father-in-law, whom I love dearly, is not a fan of the weeping willow tree so my husband has not been motivated to get one for our property out of respect for his father. Last fall we bought two new trees, an oak and a birch tree. When we purchased the trees they each came with a bag of mulch. My dear husband planted the trees and mulched them as needed. This spring after the mounds of snow melted we went out to check on our new trees and were delighted to see both survived the winter no worse for wear. I found in the mulch of the oak tree what I thought was a weed. When I pulled it up I realized it was not a weed, but a small willow tree!

The mulch that came with the two new trees must have contained chippings from a willow tree. There was enough of a twig remaining from a willow that it grew roots and leaves and was trying to grow just laying there on the ground. I showed it to my husband and we decided that if that little twig survived after being through the chipper and buried under snow all winter, we ought to plant it and give it a chance to grow.

Our little tree has grown in leaps and bounds this summer. I put it into a pot after we pulled it out of the mulch and next year we will plant it in the ground. I am delighted to have a willow tree of my own. God knew what I wanted and provided it in a surprising fashion. It will be a reminder of a gracious God who gives good gifts -- even when we don't ask Him for them.

Has God ever surprised you with a gift?

In His Peace-

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