In my last blog, I wrote about how GOD’S goodness and mercy are different than what we might think they are.
Well, this time I want to write about how His gifts to us can sometimes be quite different than we think, imagine or fathom.
Several months ago, a friend of mine was reading to me from a book called, “Calm my anxious heart,” by Linda Dillow. She was reading from chapter four, “Content with My Role”.
She read, “‘Linda, you are one of the few married women I know was happy. I have observed the wives and our mission. Of the 40 I know, only three are glad to be married.’ This is a sobering comment from a single missionary woman I respected. could she be right? Do women who love Christ and desire to serve Him truly give the impression that they are discontinued in their marriages? Fred, a singles pastor, made an equally disturbing observation. When asked if the single women in the church were content with their singleness, he replied, ‘Absolutely not! Every week I have weepy women in my office convinced are doomed to a life of loneliness. They’re treading water biding time until Mr. Right comes along. They believe that singleness is not the complete will of GOD.'”
We discussed how each role that GOD allows us to walk in is a gift. Whether the role of child, student, single, married, parent, widow, etc. These are seasons of our lives that GOD gives us as gifts. And just because we are in one season, it doesn’t mean that we will be in that season for the rest of our lives.
After we talked, my friend was praying for me and thanking GOD for the gifts of the roles He has chosen for each of us. As she prayed for me, I imagined a fancy gift box that I was opening and upon looking into it, I set it aside and saw myself asking GOD for the next gift. Ugghh! How horrible that I see the gift of singleness as if I have been given underwear and socks for Christmas instead of a cool toy or the thing I wanted most on my Christmas list!
It’s taken me some time to process this and to ask GOD to forgive me for rejecting the precious gift that He has given me because He knows it is the best gift for me. And during this time, I have also learned about another gift GOD has given me…the gift of disability!
Yes, along with our roles, we can look at other roles too. Manager, co-worker, employed, unemployed, military, part-time worker, volunteer, disabled. Each of these is also a gift from GOD.
I learned a few weeks ago that I am not a candidate for surgery and it’s possible that the pain in my spine and the weakness in my legs will get worse. This was sobering news. I went into a funk. I don’t want to live this way the rest of my life. What about my possible career and dreams? SIGH! This was a life sentence to pain
GOD is able to heal me, but even if He doesn’t, He has chosen this for me because it’s the best gift for me. He knows what will help me to become the best version of myself. He knows what it will take for me to look to Him for everything.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Romans 5:3-4 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
1 Peter 4:12-13 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
My housemate and I were talking about suffering producing character. I said that I should create a t-shirt that says, “I’ve been told that suffering produces character… I’m just not sure which character I want to be yet!”(I pictured the t-shirt with characters like Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, etc.) But I know the character I really want to display is the character of Christ.
His ways are far different than our ways. He knows what we need in our lives to grow us and mold us into the best versions of ourselves.
What gifts has GOD given to you that don’t feel like gifts? How can seeing them as gifts help you to trust GOD and find peace? What Christ-like character qualities do you want to see GOD develop in you?
LORD, please help us to receive the gifts that You have given us in our lives. Help us to see them as special gifts that we will appreciate and no longer see them as the gift we set aside in order to receive the “better gift”. Please help us to find peace and contentment in the roles You have given us. And help us to grow Christ-like character and qualities in our lives. LORD, Thank You for the gifts You have given us and will give us. Thank You that You know what is best for us. Thank You LORD. In JESUS name amen.