by Shirley Brosius
Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 NKJV
My grandson Scott gave me two bugs. Oh, not real ones. They are ornamental bugs with a terracotta look. One is dark red; the other, orange. Both sport bulging eyes, multicolored spots, springy metal antenna, and hooks for feet.
One bug hangs on the handle of a mason jar filled with clear yellow balls with a solar lid that lights at night; the other sits by the jar.
The bugs warm my heart because Scott picked them out for me himself. He knows my love of nature and wanted to give me something that his little boy heart loved as well.
I love the gifts I get from grandchildren that reflect their knowledge of who I am.
Perhaps we might view the people, things, and situations in our lives as special gifts God has picked out just for us. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 NKJV). God loves us and is for us. He wants nothing less than His best for us. So we can look around with His eyes, from His perspective. We may not expect certain circumstances, but we can accept them as permitted by God, Who loves us and walks with us through them.
We may take people for granted. Our spouses will always be there to bring home the bread and milk, to take out the trash. Our children may annoy us with antics more often than delight us with cuteness. Our neighbors may be ordinary people whom we rarely see and make little effort to do so. After all, we don’t have that much in common.
Then there are the people with whom we work. Do we know anything about their families? Their cares and their concerns? Their joys and their pleasures?
People in our churches come and go Sunday after Sunday. We say “Hi” and “See you next week.” We may offer friendly greetings, but do we ever invite them into our homes?
But what if God brings people into our lives for specific purposes? What if He means for them to enrich our lives and for us to enrich theirs? We may be missing out by failing to appreciate or get to know them.
We might also look at situations in our lives as provided by a loving God. That burnt dinner. That challenge at work. That car that won’t start.
Challenges bless us with the gift of patience, one of the spiritual fruits listed in Scripture (Galatians 5:22). Challenges force us to rely on others, to work together to solve a problem. And as we do, we serve as God’s image-bearer to a watching world.
Take a second at the people and situations that touch your life. They are God’s gifts to you. How do you feel about them? Is there anything you might do to enhance that relationship?
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1 NKJV). Perhaps that means we shall stop wanting what’s on the other side of the street and accept what’s in our own backyards as God’s gift.
About the author: An author and speaker from Millersburg, Pennsylvania, Shirley Brosius has written Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference and coauthored Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. She speaks at women’s events as a member of Friends of the Heart, three women who share God’s love through messages, skits and song. Shirley has a daughter waiting in heaven, and she enjoys pass
ing on her faith—and cookies—to two married sons and five grandchildren.
Join the conversation: Do you struggle with accepting certain people or situations in your life as God’s gift to you?