Saturday, October 13, 2012

What has God put into your hand?

A good friend asked me a question many years ago.  I was in a time of transition and feeling confused.  She asked me: "What has God put in your hand?" That season, and the counsel this friend went on to share with me, was transformational.

That question  seems to keep coming back to me, from different angles.

18 years ago it was posed because I didn't know what to DO...I didn't have an overarching plan like I like to have, but I did know what was right in front of me. I learned to live the day in front of me, trusting God to lead me BECAUSE HE KNOWS the whole plan.

Now the question is lodged in my mind from an angle presented in Ann Voskamp's book, 1000 Gifts.  What has God put in your hand?  Ann talks about living with open hand, receiving His grace gifts.  This time the question isn't task oriented; it is receiving and responding oriented.  Will I receive the grace gifts He chooses to give?  And will I respond with thanksgiving?

Yesterday, one of His gifts was rain.  Refreshing!  I went for a long walk in it with my dog, getting soaked and loving it.  Some days I would chafe at the rain, but yesterday I opened my hands, received it, and gave thanks.  It was the big cry I've needed.  God knew!

He gives gifts of growth.  Sometimes we can learn the easy way by cracking books open, sometimes it comes by being cracked open...whatever tool He uses to grow us into the likeness of Christ, whatever it "feels" like, whatever it costs, will we open our hands?  Will we receive growth graces and offer thanks?

He gives gifts of fruitfulness in our lives... The writer of Hebrews prays that God would  "make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever" (Heb.13:20,21).  And Paul makes it clear in Phil. 2:13 that "it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."  Remember to pause and give Him thanks for the fruit He bears in and through you (in contrast to the temptation to well up with self-glory).

He gives us times when we feel empty.  Times of brokenness and loss can feel this way.  His special grace is given then with the sweet invitation to draw closer to Him.  To be still and know that He is God.  The grace of surrendering our wills to His is a very special grace indeed.  Thank you, Father.

He gives us gifts of love and friendship.  Not to distract us from His love, but to magnify our appreciation of His love.  These are precious gifts, graces.  Thank you, Father.

He gives us gifts of the unknown.  These are invitations to trust His sovereign goodness, wisdom, power and love.  He leads, provides, and cares perfectly for us.  Why, oh why, am I still so quick to become fearful?  Here too, I am learning to open my hands, to receive, to give thanks.  In my weakness, You are strong.  Thank you, Father.

He gives gifts of beauty.  Sunsets, ocean's shores, smiling faces, flower gardens, puffy white clouds in the sky, acts of courage, the embrace of a loved one, the communion of saints, and SO MUCH MORE.  Thank you, Father.

God is the most cheerful Giver of givers.  The answer to the question "What has God put into your hand?" is always GRACE.

And if we ever doubt His goodness, let us remember what He opened His hands to...
"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" ~ Rom 8:32

No comments:

Post a Comment