Stories

Good Gifts

Do you like gifts? Who doesn’t like them?! Consider a moment how you see God’s gifts. Do you see them everywhere or nowhere? Do you think they are abundant or scarce in your life?

How you view God’s gifts will directly impact the contentment and quality of your life. This is especially true if it seems God is hiding from you.

A few years ago, my sister and her husband lived in a two-story house with a walkout basement that was becoming too large and too old. They had no money for all the work that needed done: some cosmetic, some more important. A feeling of ‘oh well’ set in.

When my sister dislocated and broke her ankle in several places while on some stairs, a feeling of unease joined the mix. They began dreaming of an open ranch with updated everything. They looked around and determined they could not afford to move. A feeling of sadness joined the other feelings. The dream seemed out of reach.

The entire time, they were telling God about their dream, and it seemed He was not moved to move them. Then, one day, a realtor friend called and said someone wanted to buy their house with cash, no matter what was wrong with it!  

Though it looked impossible, God acted quietly to work all things out for their good (Ephesians 1:11). They moved into their brand-new dream ranch with not only what they needed but what they thought was a pie-in-the-sky dream. God exceeded their expectations, even moving them next to old friends they had lost touch with!

Why does God hide His workings from us? That is a bigger question than a blog post can fully address. In my sister’s situation, maybe He was just asking them to trust that He had their best in mind. Maybe He just likes huge surprises! Likely, we would not understand it all.

God seems hidden throughout His Word. The Book of Esther is a story of deliverance by God using all sorts of people to accomplish His purpose. As Pastor Rob said in the first message of the Hidden God series, “God is steering His redemptive plan in all of human history. The whole Bible is a telling of that story.” Esther is a story within THE story. And God is never mentioned.

What if God has never really been hidden? What might be hidden are the eternal workings of His purpose. We tiny-brained bipeds assume if we cannot see it, it cannot be. We assume if we do not receive what we pray for, He is not working. We assume a great many things about our Creator, putting Him in a convenient little box so that we might understand or control things.

While it is true we no longer enjoy the type of togetherness of our first ancestors, He did not leave His creation. And today, those whose hearts belong to Him have His Spirit within them. So, when God looks like He is not working, He has His reasons for not revealing everything.  

Our part in all of His plans requires our patience. The only way to get better at waiting is to wait! Since this is a fruit of His Spirit, something He wants to grow in us, it may just be one of the reasons He seems to hide.

Maybe we can think about the situations where we need God’s movement as a gift…there is no peeking until the special day. Which is more fun: knowing what you are getting for Christmas, or being surprised? And as with my sister, you might be getting so much more than you asked for.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8