|Photo Credit: Flickr user Anne, Creative Commons, cc license|
"Dad will like this candy, right?" he had asked earlier, with pensive eyebrows raised, wrapping paper poised.
"Dad'll love anything you give to him, bud," I assured him.
And then on Christmas morning, Daniel and his brother passed out the presents, reading Daniel's handwritten recipients.
"Mmmm, thank you, Daniel," Mark grinned to him, and Daniel sighed happily.
This week, a grey charcoal plastic bag arrived by mail. Twenty-one year old John snatched it up eagerly after work.
"Morgan! Come see your present," he yelled to his sister downstairs.
Squeals and shrieks followed. Morgan bounced up steps and stood with arms out, wearing a t-shirt specially ordered for her. "They're my favorite characters," she said, pointing them out to us.
And this desire to study loved ones, to wonder about and seek out gifts that will please them and be for their joy is what captures me this week, because I saw it in God too.
The words caught me as I traced finger across Bible pages and smooth-rolling gel pen across my journal. Words in the Bible book of Hebrews describe the Godhead pausing to study his people, reflecting on the best gifts to give them, and then moving with joy and delight.
The image stopped me, and my pen stalled as well. Could it be? Did God stop and reflect when choosing gifts for us in the same way that we wrestled and reflected on the presents we wanted to give loved ones around us?
I re-read it, seeing the words, "distributed according to his will." Will: having to do with desire, having an opinion, reflected in something you wish, rather than not wish; connected with "This is what I choose, want, decide, desire." According to his will, the Holy Spirit looked at us, knew us, and chose what presents to give us -- for our delight and his glory.
I underlined it and pulled my journal nearer to reflect on it and talk with my God. "You are alive and active, God-Spirit, and you willed, desired, wanted to, had opinions about which gifts you gave me. Thank you! Help me continue to hone and use them for your glory, for others' good, and in humble joy each time."
God has thought about you and deliberately chosen gifts for you. As 2017 strides in, join me in remembering and reflecting on what this means for you and me, will you?
And the delight that crosses his face every time we enjoy our gifts, it must be brilliant!
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