Someone recently gave me a gift that was unexpected, undeserved, and overwhelmingly generous.
Ok, let’s be honest — I was down right itchy about the whole thing.
I almost didn’t say ‘yes’ to the gift in the first place.
(You realize, don’t you, that receiving a gift is a choice — requires action on our part? Even when someone dumps something in your lap, you still have the choice whether you’re gonna wrap your arms around it and take it with you when you get up. You still have a choice whether you want actually use it. For an unused gift is an unaccepted gift, is it not?!)
But as I was hemming and hawing and trying to figure a way out of accepting the gift, my wise Mother-in-Love said, in her direct, no-nonsense way, “If the only reason you don’t want to accept the gift is because you feel the giver is being too generous, than you need to just receive it!”
She was right, so I said yes.
But I was still itching.
In a conversation with another friend, we were both trying to get to the bottom of why we have trouble accepting gifts. In the context of our conversation — even as we spoke together, the Lord revealed to us that it all centers around the word “deserve”. I said,
My friend murmured agreement as it hit us both — we preferred receiving only when we felt we deserved it. An unexpected gift, from an unexpected source, disproportionate to our worth in the equation – that bothered us.
But why? Well, pride is the obvious answer. But why does my heart only want what I deserve? God, why do I not willing take from Your hand all these blessings?
Because if I let myself free into the zone of grace, of undeserving grace, suddenly my math doesn’t work anymore. Two plus two may equal four, or seven only three. My good deeds may or may not get me the results, friends, attention, praise, affirmation I lust for, and I will have to go to God for my fulfillment.
Or, He may bless me over and above what I deserve, and I will have no recourse but to lift my hands, receive the gift, and praise the One who gave it.
To me. Undeserving, unacceptable-but-for-grace, not-nearly-good-enough me.
This whole thing has me thinking — what other gifts have I been given that I have not yet opened my hands to receive? Father, forgive and cleanse me of my pride, and help me to humbly receive all you have poured over me. Heaping blessings…
Friends I don’t deserve.
Answers I didn’t even pray for.
A peace I didn’t create.
A joy I have no formula for.
All gifts. I open my arms and say, thank You.
And thank you, and you, and you, and each one of you dear readers and friends that the Lord has used to fill my cup to overflowing.