A thought crossed my mind this morning after something my wife said yesterday. In a group conversation, she said, “my name means ‘Gift of G_d’”. As I reflected on this comment, I thought about how each of us is a “Gift of G_d”. the problem is, that the way we live our life is like the exterior wrapping that is meant to conceal what is inside. We do not fully fathom the depths of the gift of our life because we see the way we have wrapped the gift and frown on the package compared to other people’s gifts. Yet, our gifts are just as important and just as vital but we withhold them because we consider them “unimportant”. When G_d looks at the gift we are giving, he doesn’t see the exterior package nor the way it is wrapped, He sees the heart and cherishes the gift eternally.
When we present our gift to G_d and subsequently to our spouse, family, friends, and coworkers, we will either present it like Cain or like Able. As you know, Cain picked the first thing he found and presented it as a gift to the Lord. Able picked the fattest and most succulent lamb for his offering. Able’s gift received a smile from the Lord while Cain’s was frowned on (Genesis 4:1-16). By frowning on Cain’s gift, it did not mean that G_d did not cherish Cain but that He knew Cain could do better if he just put a little more effort into it. The problem is that Cain misunderstood and this led to jealousy and then to murder. In the same way, when our gifts look paltry compared to a person who puts a lot of effort into their life and by it strengthen their gift, we think “I’ve failed” and so we shrink back. When that person is promoted, noticed, and admired, the human tendency is to become “jealous and envious” and this leads to war.
I want to go on record today by saying, “G_d does not give our crowns for half-hearted efforts.” What we present to G_d is also the same gift we give to our families, spouses, friends, and the world at large. When we use our gifts to inflict pain on the world around us, we also inflict pain on the Kingdom of G_d (Matthew 25:15-41). I want you to know that the gifts you possess will neither grow nor shrink back unless you take purposeful efforts to alter them or to “grow them”. Each of you is just as important as every other person in this world.
My prayer for you today is that you will grow your gifts as big as your imagination so that fruit will come from your life that will feed others.
Please be with my families, law enforcement officers, EMTs, military, city, state of Minnesota, and my USA.