by Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson
One summer, our four-year-old son drove a friend’s battery-powered three-wheeler. Watching Brant’s joy planted an idea. This would make the perfect Christmas gift.
My husband and I located a red one that December on sale. We stretched our seminary student budget and bought it. I smiled every time I imagined Brant’s surprise on Christmas morning.
Christmas Eve we set the gleaming three-wheeler beside the tree. I went to bed anticipating the excitement of the next morning.
But Brant didn’t like his gift. It wasn’t blue—like the one he’d ridden that summer. “But red’s your favorite color,” I reminded him. Didn’t matter, Brant wanted blue.
That year, his friends and sister scooted around on the three-wheeler. But Brant. Wouldn’t. Even. Touch. It.
The next summer we visited my friends again and Brant anticipated riding the blue three-wheeler. He was surprised at how much smaller and more worn it was than his three-wheeler. His attitude toward his vehicle changed. But by this time, because of Brant’s lack of interest and our coming move, Larry had already promised it to a man for his grandchildren.
Our good gift to our son never benefited him, because he rejected it.
I wonder how many times I’ve repeated my son’s story. I missed the joy of a good gift because it didn’t look like what I imagined or wasn’t the color of a friend’s. Worse, how many times have I’ve questioned my Father’s wisdom and love?
When God’s gifts don’t look like we imagined, we feel disappointed or rejected. We can’t imagine that His gift is better than what we asked for.
One year, I had a roommate who didn’t get anything I said. I felt frustrated trying to connect with her. One night in my journal I came across a prayer I’d written earlier to become a better communicator. I laughed to myself. God was answering my prayer, just not in the way I’d imagined. While I’d pictured an easy exchange of ideas, He was teaching me how to listen and express myself in ways that didn’t come naturally.
Do you have prayers that seem to be unanswered? Could you have overlooked the answer because it came wrapped in a blue bow when you expected pink?
It’s not too late to change our attitudes and enjoy God’s good gifts.
- List the “gifts” you wish were different. Include experiences, personality traits, and people in your life. God already knows your thoughts, so be honest.
- Ask Him to open your eyes to see them from His perspective.
- Go down your list and, by faith, thank Him for His promise to work even the bad things together for your good and for the good of all who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
When our four-year old dismissed his Christmas gift, he wasn’t the only one who missed out. Our family missed the joy of him enjoying his gift. Remembering God gives good gifts helps us look for the good. The treasure may be hidden, but we know it is there.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. James 1:17 NIV
About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, is to be released February 2020. She and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.
Join the conversation: Has there been a time when you failed to recognize what God gave you as a desirable gift?